In the summer of 2011, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty was running for president, but his campaign was running out of money. He thought if he could just make it to the Iowa Straw Poll, and put up a good showing there, that might sustain his campaign a few more months.
"Our theory was we needed to make a mark early if we were going to be able to get some attention and be able to stay in his wake as the credible alternative to [Mitt Romney]," Pawlenty told National Journal on Friday. "And it was the wrong theory."
Pawlenty ended up placing third in the poll—behind Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul—and ditched his campaign the very next day, having accumulated more than $400,000 in debt.
So when news broke Friday that the Iowa Republican Party was canceling the straw poll, Pawlenty welcomed its death knell.
"My general reaction is, good riddance," Pawlenty said. "It's an event that long ago outlived its usefulness, and history shows it wasn't a good predictor of anything, including the Iowa caucus results and the eventual nominee."
Pawlenty said he hopes the elimination of the straw poll leads to more substantive reporting on the 2016 presidential race and less "horse-race" coverage than last cycle.