Michele Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll, edging out Ron Paul
Rep. Michele Bachmann took 29 percent of the votes in the Iowa straw poll on Saturday, topping the field of GOP presidential hopefuls. Rep. Ron Paul came in second and Tim Pawlenty a distant third.
Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll on Saturday, adding momentum to her populist-conservative campaign for president.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Out of 16,892 votes cast, Congresswoman Bachmann won 4,823 votes, or 29 percent. Coming in a close second was Rep. Ron Paul of Texas with 4,671 votes, or 28 percent. Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota came in third with 2,293 votes, or 14 percent.
Bachmann’s campaign has been on rocket fuel since she announced her candidacy on June 13. The fiery legislator quickly shot to first place in polls of Iowa Republicans, whose party is dominated by Christian conservatives who align with the low-tax, small-government message of the tea party. Bachmann heads the Tea Party Caucus in the House.
IN PICTURES: Republicans in the 2012 presidential race
The entry of Texas Gov. Rick Perry into the GOP race on Saturday likely sets him up to be the alternative to Bachmann in the conservative wing of the party. National front-runner Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, opted not to take part in the Iowa straw poll, though his name appeared on the ballot. He won 587 votes, compared with 718 write-in votes for Governor Perry.
In a statement after the results were announced, Bachmann thanked Iowans for "this tremendous victory."
"Together we sent a message that we intend to make President Obama a one-term president. The Iowa Straw Poll was an important first step in what will be a long race for the presidency," she said.
Congressman Paul’s close second-place finish demonstrated the force that he has become in Republican politics. Viewed as a fringe candidate when he ran four years ago, he had a large, enthusiastic crowd at the straw poll. Paul’s low-tax, small-government approach makes him, to many, the godfather of the tea party movement. But his unorthodox-for-a-Republican views on foreign policy – he opposes US military engagements abroad – will limit his potential in the GOP field.