Since the unofficial death of the Iowa Straw Poll a few weeks ago, finger pointing has ensued as to whom should bear the weight of blame for its precipitous demise ahead of the 2016 race for the White House.
Iowa GOP Chairman Jeff Kaufmann and other poll insiders seem bent on blaming Gov. Mike Huckabee for leading the charge among declared candidates in his refusal to participate.
Though Jeb Bush was the first to opt out, his decision was expected given his lackluster support among Iowa’s GOP faithful.
But Huckabee’s surprise withdrawal is seen by some as a stab in the back since it was to Iowa that he had given credit for his meteoric rise to success in the 2008 primary battle where he finished just behind Mitt Romney in losing the nomination to John McCain.
What’s more, Kaufmann argues, is the op-ed written by Huckabee in the Des Moines Register in which he criticized the poll for weakening conservative candidates and strengthening establishment favorites.
As Kaufmann puts it, “It just defies common sense that you would criticize the very entity that had brought you into the national spotlight…[which] completely and utterly contradicts what you’d said four years earlier.”