Tody, Rudy Giuliani has indicated his intention to skip the Iowa Ames straw poll this summer, yet still be 100% committed to the Iowa caucuses. A month ago, we wrote a piece advising Giuliani to attend the straw poll, saying it would be a way to show Iowa Republicans he is committed to the state. The strategy of competing in Iowa yet skipping the straw poll seems risky, and no candidate in the straw poll’s 30-year history has skipped the event and won the caucus. However, Giuliani avoids spending at least a million dollars on an event that would have been tough for him to win.
Giuliani’s decision ratchets up the pressure on the lower tier of candidates as well. If Giuliani (whose name will still most likely be on the ballot) finishes higher than a candidate who devoted a significant effort to Ames, it will be a crushing loss.