Michele Bachmann wins Iowa presidential straw poll


Michele Bachmann said Barack Obama would be ''a one-term president''

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US Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has won a key pre-election campaign poll in the state of Iowa.

The Iowa Straw Poll held in Ames attracted about 17,000 voters and is considered the first big test of the 2012 presidential race.

Mrs Bachmann, an Iowa-born social conservative, narrowly beat her rival Ron Paul in the non-binding contest.

The vote was held on the same day Texas Governor Rick Perry announced his intention to run for the presidency.

It comes five months before the first official Iowa primaries in the race for the White House.

Mrs Bachmann took 4,823 of the 16,892 votes cast after the day-long political festival held on the campus of Iowa State University.

Start Quote

Michele Bachmann won, but it cannot have been the victory that she was hoping for”

End Quote Jonny Dymond BBC News, Ames, Iowa

Runner-up Mr Paul took 4,671 votes and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty finished in third place with 2,293.

Mr Pawlenty said his team had "a lot more work to do" but that he was not giving up hope.

"We are just beginning and I'm looking forward to a great campaign," he said.


The BBC's Jonny Dymond in Iowa says Mrs Bachmann had campaigned hard in the state, firing up her supporters with her rhetoric and style.

Before the vote took place, Mrs Bachmann told her supporters: "We are going to make Barack Obama a one-term president."

Leading Republican candidate former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney did not campaign in the contest but still received 567 votes while the newly declared Mr Perry, whose name was not on the ballot paper, still won 718 "write-in" votes.

Mr Perry had declared his candidacy earlier in the day at an event in South Carolina, telling his supporters: "I full-well believe I'm going to win."

Ames Straw Poll, Iowa

The Iowa Straw Poll is a vote by attendees of a fundraiser for the Iowa Republican party and dates back to 1979.

Anyone who can pay the $30 (£18) for the ticket and is over 18 can vote.

Participants do not need to be Republicans but they do have to be residents of the state or students attending university in Iowa.

It is seen as a good indicator of who is in the lead to win the Republican nomination to become the party's candidate for the presidential election, however it has only predicted the outcome in two out of five times.

He slammed the Obama administration, saying the US "cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership".

The BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani in Washington says Mr Perry is a fiscal conservative who has a track record of creating jobs and reducing the role of government.

He is religious with socially conservative views and could be the candidate to unite moderate and right-wing "Tea Party" Republicans, our correspondent adds.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has yet to announce whether she plans to run.

She was in Iowa on Friday but said the poll was "not always the tell-tale sign of what the electorate is feeling".

"It's who happens to show up and has the time and energy to spend that day for their particular candidate," she said.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    OK, if you are into semantics, I call her "Barfman" when I can be bothered to even address her existence. What does this mean? Well I'd say that a significant amount of "Fragmented States" voters have gone down the well-greased path of desiring a Theocratic Medievalist state of affairs ruled by faux-royalty decree, which is what I thought the original settlers were trying to get away from!

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Ron Paul didn't buy any votes. I believe you'll find Bachmann was reported as doing so. Further this is bad news for Bachmann no winning candidate since 79 has actually won the nomination.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    I agree with Happy Piano. She can never win; which is why, although I don't get involved in politics, I'm sort of disappointed. I would like Obama to have some stiff competition purely for interests' sake and if Bachmann gets the nomination, she's not it. She has far less bi-partisan appeal than McCain who was pretty soundly defeated.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    she won by around 200 votes? this is not a big deal, take her out of her home state and she'll fall by the wayside. I expect she only pulled ahead due to her being born in Iowa, the main issue her is with such a split in the votes will enough support fall behind any of the republican candidates this year to pose any sort of threat to Obama, personally I doubt it

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    Rolled out her "god" wagon in a Bible belt state. She's pro-life, but voted for the Iraq war. She wants to blow up Iran as well - just another Bush/Cheney oil warrior. She wants to balance the budget but also spend trillion of dollars on wars. The fiercely anti-war candidate, Dr. Ron Paul, came in a strong second. Terrific news for those who have had their fill of Washington's warmongering.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    @Lennie B: And the relevance of your statement would be what?

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    This contest has little relevance in the race for the nomination. McCain got 0.7% last time but then won the nomination convincingly. So in what way is it "key". The BBC's articles on US politics need some work.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    Oh dear, what was Iowa thinking? The good news is that if she becomes the Republican candidate, all of the reasonable people in America will vote for Obama! I just don't think there's a good chance of someone as extreme as Michele Bachmann becoming president.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Ron Paul supporters will not support pro-War neocon candidates; we are liberty-minded, not socially conservative. Considering the money Bachmann poured into this campaign, she must feel pretty disappointed right now. She differs little from GW Bush...we need Revolution and a return to the Constitution, the eradication of the Federal Reserve to allow the US to thrive - we DON'T need another neocon

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Hell of a day for Ron Paul. He's risking a lot by standing up and "speaking truth to power". The least we can do is vote for him, don't you think?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Aww jeez. Just when I thought the world couldn't possibly laugh at our (US) political system any harder... this happens.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    @ Lennie B

    Funny that, considering that the BBC actually got it right in their other article titled "The rise and rise of Michele Bachmann"

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Her first name is spelt Michele NOT Michelle and her last name Bachmann NOT Bachman.


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