The Iowa Straw Poll is dead.
The governing board for the Republican Party of Iowa voted unanimously to cancel the straw poll, a milestone on the path to the White House that had passed the strategic tipping point. It was no longer a political risk for presidential campaigns to walk away from the straw poll, and too many of the 2016 contenders had opted to skip it for it to survive.
For GOP activists in Iowa, the summertime political festival was a beloved tradition that dated to 1979, but its fate rested in the hands of the presidential campaigns, who drove attendance by spending resources to haul in their supporters.
Several key contenders — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Mike Huckabee — had decided against dishing out the big bucks it can take to win. Party officials needed at least one legitimate player to participate, but the Iowa front-runner, Scott Walker, declined to commit.