Those who placed a minimum bid of $15,000 which guaranteed them a space on the grounds surrounding Hilton Coliseum and as well as a place on the agenda to speak during the formal program. They were also guaranteed to have their names on the ballot.
- Congresswoman Michelle Bachman (R-MN)
- Herman Cain
- Congressman Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)
- Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
- Former Governor Tim Pawlenty (R-MN)
- Former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)
The Central Committee also decided to include other declared candidates on the ballot. These candidates will not speak, nor have a space on the grounds. Their supporters can come vote at the Straw Poll however.
- Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA)
- Former Governor Mitt Romney (R-MA)
- Former Governor and Ambassador Jon Huntsman (R-UT)
A write-in option will be included. Some have advocated including Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) and former Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK), but I think it was a good decision to just include those who have declared, as it will demonstrate the organizational strength of a particular campaign in Iowa with the current field of candidates. I had predicted the top three to be Pawlenty, Bachmann and Paul in that order. I’m still confident of my top three picks, but not as confident of the order. I am willing to predict that Fred Karger will issue a complaint with somebody that he wasn’t included on the ballot.
I’m sure Cain’s campaign is disappointed with the decision, as they only wanted those who reserved space on the ballot. I’m glad that the Iowa GOP State Central Committee made it clear that they, not the candidates will determine who is on the ballot.