Real Clear Politics: 2016 GOP Hopefuls to Attend Early Iowa Cattle Call

After more than two years of public handwringing over whether the event has done more harm than good and should be abolished, Iowa’s Republican State Central Committee is expected to vote on Saturday to move forward with the Ames Straw Poll later this year.

The quadrennial August free-for-all — complete with free barbeque, live entertainment and an unabashed bidding war among the candidates for prime real estate — typically serves as the first major test for GOP White House hopefuls the year before a presidential election.

But in 2015, political watchers won’t have to wait until summer to catch their first collective glimpse of most of the likely Republican contenders, who are set to stand shoulder to shoulder at a high-profile event in the nation’s first voting state later this month.

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