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.
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Mr. Pawlenty, finishing a distant third, had hoped his two terms as a fiscally conservative governor of Minnesota and conservative stances on social issues would make him a natural in nearby Iowa, but he has failed to catch on here in a big way. His disappointing result dealt a serious blow to his fundraising potential, and is likely to raise speculation that he will have to drop out of the race.Skip to next paragraph
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Pawlenty released a statement soon after the straw poll results came out, saying he would stick it out.
“Congratulations to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for her victory in today's straw poll,” Pawlenty said. “We made progress in moving from the back of the pack into a competitive position for the caucuses, but we have a lot more work to do. This is a long process to restore America – we are just beginning and I'm looking forward to a great campaign."
In other results, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania placed fourth with 1,657 votes, or 10 percent. Businessman Herman Cain came in fifth with 1,456, or 9 percent. Perry’s 718 votes put him in sixth place, ahead of seventh-place finisher Romney’s 567 votes.
Perry supporters may make something of his finish ahead of Romney, though with neither competing in the poll, it’s impossible to say whether that’s a serious sign of strength for Perry over Romney. Still, Perry’s “victory” as a write-in over Romney, who was on the ballot, is a bit of an embarrassment for Romney. Volunteers and staff for the outside group Americans for Rick Perry, which worked hard for the past six weeks to encourage write-ins, were out in force at the straw poll.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich came in eighth with 385 votes. He also did not mount much of an effort for the straw poll, though he strolled around the university grounds with his wife greeting voters for part of the day. Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., another nonparticipant in the straw poll, came in ninth with 69 votes. And Rep. Thaddeus McCotter of Michigan, a recent entrant into the race who did mount an effort at Ames, won 35 votes.
The rest of the votes were scattered among other write-ins.