1. Rumble

    Iowa Kicks Off Straw Poll

    Republican presidential candidate, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, arrives at a breakfast before the GOP Ames Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

    Charles Dharapak / AP Photo

    Thousands of Republicans flocked to Iowa Saturday as the Ames Straw Poll kicked off. Iowans will cast their vote for their top presidential contender as candidates try to win the first big test of the primary season. Past straw polls suggest it's not a strong predictor of the Iowa caucuses (Mitt Romney won the straw poll last time around, in 2007, but lost the caucuses to Mike Huckabee), but many candidates are still pouring resources into it. Texas Gov. Rick Perry announces his candidacy on the same day, and the "unaffiliated group" Americans for Rick Perry has organized an extensive write-in campaign.

    Read it at USA Today