Rudy Giuliani will not compete in the August straw poll in Ames, Iowa his campaign manager Mike DuHaime just said on a conference call.
More: DuHaime said that the campaign is still, "100 percent playing in
The difficulty for Giuliani is that though the event is non-binding, Iowa political observers argue that it's difficult for a candidate to seriously compete in the caucus while skipping the straw poll. The Des Moines Register pointed out that no candidate in the straw poll's nearly 30-year history has avoided the event and won the caucus.
In the call, DuHaime dismissed the "conventional wisdom," saying that Giuliani's candidacy has been defying it every step of the way.
In addition to costing the campaign a lot of money, participating in the straw poll would have been a huge gamble, because if he showed up and had a poor showing, it would raise a lot of questions about his candidacy. Now, if Giuliani does poorly, he can attribute it to the fact that he wasn't there.
Giuliani's decision to bail on the straw poll will reinforce the view among skeptics that his organization in the Hawkeye State lags his rivals, particularly, Mitt Romney, who has to be seen as the odds on favorite to win the poll now, if he wasn't already.