Does the straw poll really matter?
The Ames Straw Poll has become a rite of passage for GOP presidential candidates when there is no incumbent Republican in the White House. Begun in 1979, it serves as a first indicator of the strength of a candidate's organization and message.
Test your political knowledge: Click on the check box of the person you think won each contest, and see how reliable the Ames Straw Poll has been in predicting who wins the Iowa caucus and, ultimately, the GOP nomination.
Source: Staff reports. Graphic: Heather Billings and Karen Yourish, The Washington Post. Published Aug. 9, 2011.