Aides to Fred Thompson, the actor-politician considered a likely presidential candidate, have had repeated conversations with Iowa Republicans about him possibly competing in the straw poll in August.
"They want to know what it's going to look like, how the voting works, the logistics of it and how the program works in general," Chuck Laudner, executive director of the Republican Party of Iowa, said Monday.
Laudner said the conversations began a couple of weeks ago, and the most recent was at the end of last week after two prominent contenders, Rudy Giuliani and John McCain, announced plans to skip the August straw poll in Ames.
The departure of the two rendered the event all but meaningless and essentially cleared the way for Mitt Romney to win the nonbinding contest. The former Massachusetts governor has focused time and money on the straw poll, traditionally a precursor to the Iowa caucuses in January.
Thompson, the former Tennessee senator, has formed a presidential exploratory committee and is expected to join the GOP race this summer. His late entry and delayed start in raising money made it less likely that he would compete in the Aug. 11 straw poll.
The potential of Thompson participating in the contest had Republicans upbeat.