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Jeb Bush Will Opt Out of Iowa Straw Poll

He'll be attending a RedState gathering in Atlanta, GA on that day.
Image: Republican Candidates Campaign At Iowa State Fair
DES MOINES, IA - AUGUST 12: Fairgoers over the age of 18 are invited to drop one piece of corn into one of 14 jars with photos of their favorite Republican presidential candidate during the second day of the Iowa State Fair August 12, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa. The jar representing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-WI) is the only candidate who has garnered a second container. All of the Republican presidential hopefuls are visiting the fair ahead of Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll to greet voters and engage in traditional Iowa campaigning rituals. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Jeb Bush will opt out of the August 8 Iowa straw poll, an early test of support in the state, a source with knowledge of the former governor's plans confirms.

Instead, he'll be attending a RedState gathering in Atlanta, GA on that day.

Bush's decision to skip the event was first reported by the Des Moines Register.

Bush has not been polling well in the first caucus state. A recent Quinnipiac poll of Iowa Republicans found him in SEVENTH place in the GOP field, with just five percent support.

The Iowa GOP is scaling back the straw poll this cycle after heavy criticism for becoming a "pay to play" event that had "outlived its usefulness," in the words of Gov. Terry Branstad.

Michelle Bachmann won the straw poll in 2011 after paying more than $40K to bus in supporters. But, in the Iowa caucuses, she garnered only 5 percent.

Last week the Iowa GOP chief Jeff Kaufmann wrote an op-ed explaining the changes, writing that "it is time to relegate the pay-to-play nature of the Iowa Straw Poll to the dustbin of history."

Kaufmann weighed in on Bush's decision on Twitter, writing:

- Carrie Dann and Doug Adams