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Rachel Maddow Trashes Ames Straw Poll (VIDEO)

First Posted: 08/16/11 01:12 PM ET Updated: 10/16/11 06:12 AM ET

Rachel Maddow

Rachel Maddow trashed the Iowa Straw poll on Monday show, calling it a "racket" and a "paid-to-vote rigged bingo game."

The MSNBC host said the results of the straw poll had no predictive power because the poll's two front runners bought their victories. She noted that it cost each voter $30 to cast a ballot, and credited Michele Bachmann's first place victory to her campaign buying ballots and handing them out to voters. She also credited Ron Paul's second place victory to his $31,000 bid for the best booth at the straw poll.

She said that their victories "just represent the fact that those campaigns are good at winning a racket like this, noting that the Ames Straw poll was started as a fundraiser. She added that Iowa voters "like people who pay for their votes and feed them and provide good entertainment at Ames to buy their votes."

She criticized Tim Pawlenty's decision to drop out of the race after coming in third at the poll, calling it "a reason that statistically speaking makes no sense." She also blasted the "Beltway media" for its hyped up coverage of the poll, saying, "Iowa is largely irrelevant to Republican presidential politics."

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Filed by Katherine Fung  |