Jeb Bush Will Opt Out of Iowa Straw Poll

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