Looks like August 2 and 3 will be another chance for prospective candidates to take activists temperature. Mega big blog RedState.com is hosting their annual Red State Gathering. Cruz and Jindal are already confirmed speakers. Even if there isn’t a straw poll it’s still a cattle call.
Couple of questions to consider. Why is Rick Perry going? Does he want to run again? He did use 2011’s Red State Gathering to announce his candidacy, which stole a bit of the thunder of the Iowa Straw poll (that alone was probably enough for the political jobs to curse his campaign).
Second, will Marco Rubio show up? I doubt it. Here is how Erick Erickson describes the event:
Each year, we are joined by elected officials and candidates to have a conversation. They speak for 15 minutes and spend another 15 answering questions. They talk about what they care about and answer questions based on what you care about…
There’s no fancy music choreography, no MC booming over a microphone. It is not CPAC. This is about you, the grassroots activist.
As it’s described the event, unlike CPAC, seems harder to pack with supporters and avoid any tough questions (like John McCain did in 2008 at CPAC). So if Rubio shows up he will have to take direct questions from people. Gee, I wonder what Rubio will get asked questions about if he attends. Does it start with an I?