It's the end of an era. The Iowa Straw Poll, which receives massive amounts of attention and press coverage in presidential nominating years but usually has no impact on the outcome of the nominating process, will not take place this year.
After numerous Republican hopefuls, both in the top tier of the crowded field, including Jeb Bush as well as those polling near the bottom, said they wouldn't compete in the unscientific survey this year. Even Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who won the Iowa caucus in 2012 said he wouldn't spend money on the contest this year.
The Iowa Republican Party decided to pull the plug on the tradition. The vote, held Friday morning, was unanimous.
"This step, while extremely distasteful for those of us who love the Straw Poll, is necessary to strengthen our First in the Nation status and ensure our future nominee has the best chance possible to take back the White House in 2016," chair of the Iowa Republican Party, Jeff Kaufmann, said in a statement.
The Straw Poll has been taking place since 1979 and acts as a fundraiser for the Republican Party in Iowa as candidates often spend enormous amounts of money to win. It has acted as a mini election but with no electoral benefits.
"Many candidates are still concerned about participating in an event that carries significant media-driven expectations well ahead of our First in the Nation Caucuses. While we still deeply believe that the Straw Poll offers a fantastic opportunity for candidates, we need to focus on strengthening our First in the Nation status and putting a Republican back in the White House," Kaufmann said.