POLITICS
03/05/2013 05:54 pm ET

Chuck Grassley: Iowa Straw Poll Should 'Maybe Not' Happen

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) spoke out against a 33-year-old Republican ritual Tuesday when he said the Iowa Straw Poll should "maybe not" happen.

Grassley joins other Republicans who have criticized the tradition, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, who said the straw poll's "days are over" in Nov. 2012.

BuzzFeed's John Stanton reports:

Sen. Chuck Grassley said Monday it may be time for Iowa Republicans to end the legendary Ames Straw Poll, but insisted the state's much derided caucus system is still sound.

When asked during an interview with BuzzFeed what steps the state can take to maintain its first-in-the-nation status, the 79-year-old Republican said: "Well, maybe not have the straw poll." But "beyond that," he said, the state's primary system remains viable.

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) won the straw poll in 2011. She ended her campaign for the GOP presidential nomination months later after a poor showing in the Iowa caucus.

Ed Rollins, who managed Bachmann's presidential campaign when she won the 2012 straw poll, called the tradition a "tedious effort."

"It costs a lot of money. It's totally irrelevant at the end of the day. It used to be a test of organization," Rollins said. "Today it's a lot of effort and a lot of energy that really is not worth the effort."

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