The State Column 
June 26, 2011
Texas Rep. Ron Paul has won the rights for the premier lot at the Ames Republican Presidential Straw Poll, set for August 13.
The Texas Republican and current Republican presidential candidate purchased the key spot with a $31,000 payment, outbidding rivals.
“The congressman is interested in getting in front of Iowans,” said A.J. Spiker, vice chairman of Mr. Paul’s Iowa campaign. “He realizes Iowa is extremely important to the presidential cycle and that Iowans have a very special position to the presidential process.”
Mr. Paul’s bid allows his supporters to show support for Mr. Paul’s presidential campaign outside of the Iowa State University arena where the poll, which serves as both a political convention and a major poll, takes place.
The Ames Straw Poll does not take place until August 13.
The bidding for the polling location comes as Mr. Paul performed poorly in a Des Moines Register Poll released Sunday. The Texas Republican received just 7 percent support, a figure in line with recent polling data.
The Texas Republican has spent months campaigning in the state, meeting with potential supporters and Republican leaders.
Mr. Paul has said his campaign will continue to focus in reducing the role of government.
Former House speaker Newt Gingrich, who was viewed as a serious contender for the nomination, announced Sunday that his campaign would not compete in the Ames Straw Poll, a sign that Mr. Gingrich’s presidential campaign may be on its last heels. The Georgia Republican has experienced a string of departures from key campaign staff in recent weeks and is said to be struggling to raise funds from supporters.