Candidates flock to Iowa ahead of straw poll

Tuesday, August 09, 2011 at 6:51 pm | More from The Iowa Independent

GOP frontrunner Mitt Romney will make pre-straw poll appearances in Iowa this week to meet voters, campaign staff announced.

The former Massachusetts Governor will skip the Straw Poll this time around, though he is confirmed to participate in Thursday’s GOP presidential debate in Ames, and is on the poll ballot.

Romney is scheduled to hold a business roundtable at Vermeer Corporation in Pella Wednesday, followed by a Polk County Republican fundraiser in the capital city. The next day, the former Governor will take in the Iowa State Fair before the Ames debate.

Also headed to the Hawkeye State today is candidate Fred Karger. Campaign staff said the California political consultant is traveling to Iowa to join the Ames debate, despite debate host Fox News from barring him, saying Karger failed to meet poll percentage requirements, which state candidates must garner at least a one percent average in five national polls.

Karger said he had done so, and announced his intentions to debate in Ames. Debate officials, however, declined to accept it. Karger, who is openly gay, fired back, launching a petition and sending Tweets to raise awareness of the situation.


Fred Karger 

“I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more,” Karger tweeted Friday, posting a link to his petition to be included in the Ames debate. “We will not be treated differently anymore.”

Today, Karger campaign staff announced he had scored one percent in a recent Synovate study poll, and he will travel to Iowa in anticipation of the debate and other Straw Poll festivities this evening.

“We have written to Fox News Senior VP Michael Clemente twice and provided him all the evidence which would absolutely allow me a place on that stage Thursday night,” Karger said in a campaign email. “We have earned it.”

Karger is not participating in the straw poll, nor he is on the ballot. However, he will start a write-in campaign Saturday.


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