Top Republicans to visit Iowa in September

Tyler Kingkade

Three notable Republicans, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, are scheduled to appear at GOP fundraisers in September.

The top Republican in the House, Boehner, will make a stop Friday morning in Urbandale for a Brad Zaun fundraiser. Boehner’s event is a breakfast with the price tag for attendance at $150 per person, $250 per couple.

Gingrich will speak Sept. 9 in Ames at the conservative Team Iowa PAC luncheon at the Jack Trice Club.

Gingrich made several appearances in Iowa through the summer to help raise money for Republican candidates and to attend the Iowa State Fair. The former speaker of the house said he will make a decision next year as to whether he’s running in 2012, depending on how the midterm elections go.

Palin will headline the Republican Party of Iowa’s Ronald Reagan dinner Sept. 17 in Des Moines. Iowa GOP chairman Matt Strawn said tickets for the event will be $100 per plate or $1,000 for a table of eight.

Palin, the former vice presidential candidate who left office as governor of Alaska before completing one term, has not appeared in Iowa for months since her brief book tour last winter. She made four stops to campaign in the state in 2008, and one appearance at Sioux City for a book signing in Dec. 2008 where she did not take questions from news media.

Strawn said Palin is popular among Iowans. However, in polling of Republican voters she trails behind former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, but slightly ahead of Gingrich for likely 2012 candidates, according to a Des Moines Register poll.

A poll conducted by Voter Consumer Research for the Iowa Republican blog placed Palin in fourth among likely 2012 contenders, behind Gingrich in third. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee lead with Romney in second.

Palin also lead in negative views in the Register poll, with 39 percent finding her unfavorable and nearly every respondent having their mind made up about her.

GOP groups like Team Iowa are counting on Gingrich to help orchestrate a Republican wave in Congress similar to his time in 1994. Gingrich has said the 2010 elections could be more important than the 2012.

Both Gingrich and Palin have made a slew of endorsements of Iowa Republican candidates. Republican gubernatorial nominee for Iowa, former Governor Terry Branstad, seemed surprised in a video that surfaced of the announcement of the endorsement to him. Later, an unscientific KCCI poll among 1,800 people showed 78 percent said Palin’s endorsement of Branstad had no effect on their vote.

GOP leaders have tried to get Palin to appear in Iowa, and last fall it was rumored she’d attend an event hosted by the Iowa Family Policy Center.