Two of the biggest names in the Republican Party -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin -- will not be on the ballot at the Aug. 13 Iowa Straw Poll.
The reason? They're not candidates. Not yet, anyway. Perry says he'll announce a decision within the next three or four weeks. There will be a space for write-ins on the straw poll ballot, which is considered one of the best early barometers of how well the candidates are running in the campaign kickoff state. Perry supporters already have talked about seeking write-in votes.
Even without Perry, there will be a Texan on the ballot: Congressman Ron Paul of Lake Jackson. Other candidates on the ballot will include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Michigan Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Georgia businessman Herman Cain.
-- John Gravois