August 12, 2011
The Republican candidates for president are preparing for the Ames, Iowa straw poll, widely considered the first major test of the political seasons.
Six of the nine politicians hoping for the GOP nomination will bus in supporters and pay for their $30 tickets at the poll.
The competition carries plenty of weight with the candidates. Since Iowa holds the first primary in the nation, The Iowa Caucus, the state is seen as an important step along the road to the presidency.
Isaac Wood from the University of Virginia Center for Politics says Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann will likely be the front-runner.
"She has two real strong suits. First, she appeals to social conservatives and Iowa politically is filled with social conservatives," he explained. "Secondly, she's also run a very strong campaign. It's not that she just appeals to one group, she manages to get her message out to lots of groups.
The most-talked about candidates are: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and John Huntsman Jr.