It’s the caucuses, stupid.
Looking at the Ames Straw Poll from the outside, it’s easy to dismiss it as an overhyped event, pumped up by news organizations desperate for something to cover in August and by a state Republican party that welcomes the chance to sell $30 tickets — not to mention the boon to the local economy of candidates’ spending tens of thousands on tents near the arena where the straw poll is held.
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