According to the Iowa Republican Party, ex-Sen. Fred Thompson's name will be on the Ames straw poll ballot on Aug. 12. The decision to include him was made based on conversations the party had with Thompson's agents. Apparently, the RPI believes that Thompson will be a real candidate by the date of the straw poll.

Don't count on it. A Thompson adviser cautions against expecting Thompson to open a federal candidate committee by then. The tenative plan is for Thompson to open the committee later this month, call it an exploratory committee, and then change its name after Labor Day.

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