With the Republican presidential debate Thursday night in Ames, Iowa, the country's attention is now pointed at the quadrennial straw poll event taking place this weekend. On Saturday GOP presidential hopefuls such as Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum will set up tents and charm potential voters with petting zoos, musical performances, peach jelly and deep-fried butter logs with the hopes of identifying a clear front-runner before the winter caucuses.
Now if that's not ripe for comedy, we don't know what is.
On Thursday night's "Daily Show," Jon Stewart had a field day mocking what he calls, "some good old-fashioned, down-home, country vote buyin'" taking place in America's heartland this weekend. In the first segment below he previews what all the candidates have planned inside their air-conditioned tents. As it turns out, many have high-profile musical guests like country singer Randy Travis. But three candidates (yes, three) have booked none other than Mike Huckabee and his band to provide the entertainment -- Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain and Rick Santorum.
"It's not a great sign for you when your musical entertainment could probably do better than you in a straw poll in Iowa," Stewart joked.
It was also worth noting that Sarah Palin is bringing her One Nation bus tour to Iowa during the straw poll event, even though she is not on the ballot nor is she a declared candidate in the 2012 election. Watch the second segment below to see how Jon Stewart's "Best F***in' News Team" gets sucked into each of the candidates' tents and, ultimately, into Palin's attention-seeking vortex.
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place