Ready, Ames, Fire: The Iowa Straw Poll Ames, Iowa, hosts the GOP presidential straw poll on Aug. 11. Yes, it's mostly a scheme to raise funds for the state party. But it also matters: A surprisingly strong or poor showing could make or break some candidates' campaigns.
NPR logo Ready, Ames, Fire: The Iowa Straw Poll

Ready, Ames, Fire: The Iowa Straw Poll

Mitt Romney, seen here campaigning in Ames, Iowa, has spent freely in the state. He's expected to win the Aug. 11 straw poll. But he also has the most to lose. Eric Rowley/Getty Images hide caption

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Eric Rowley/Getty Images

Mitt Romney, seen here campaigning in Ames, Iowa, has spent freely in the state. He's expected to win the Aug. 11 straw poll. But he also has the most to lose.

Eric Rowley/Getty Images

An early sign of Bob Dole's weakness as a presidential candidate became evident during the 1995 Iowa straw poll. hide caption

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Here's one person who might be intrigued by a Thompson-Thompson ticket. hide caption

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The definitive book on Women in Congress is now available. hide caption

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Forty years ago today, a Gallup Poll shows President Lyndon Johnson defeating all potential GOP challengers (Aug. 1, 1967). But Johnson will ultimately be forced out of the race by the Vietnam War. hide caption

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