Sen. Marco Rubio will not be taking part in this year’s Iowa Straw Poll.
The Florida Senator and announced Republican presidential candidate is joining Jeb Bush, Sen. Lindsey Graham and Mike Huckabee in bowing out of the once-prominent presidential campaign event.
POLITICO reports that Rubio’s decision, confirmed by his campaign on Saturday, is just the latest blow to the event which had been a mainstay for the Republican presidential nomination process. Several other candidates, such as Gov. Scott Walker, Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, have not yet indicated whether they will take part in the poll, which is in early August.
Alluding to the need to run a “lean campaign,” Alex Conant, Rubio’s communications director, told POLITICO they “will only spend money on contests that award delegates.”
Bush also cited the “large financial costs” when he told reporters his campaign “doesn’t do straw polls.”
In the latest Bloomberg Politics/Des Moines Register poll published on Saturday, about 17 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers favor Walker, with Paul and Ben Carson next at 10 percent each. Bush and Huckabee follow at 9 percent. Next are Rubio and Rick Santorum with 6 percent each.
Both eventual GOP presidential nominees John McCain in 2008 and Mitt Romney in 2012 passed on the straw poll.
The Iowa poll is two days after the first GOP debate in Cleveland and overlaps with the Atlanta RedState Gathering set for Aug. 6 to 9.