Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll
BY Julie Bolcer
August 13 2011 7:30 PM ET
Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll on Saturday, with Rep. Ron Paul coming in a close second, followed by former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty at a distant third.
According to CBS News, “Out of 16,892 votes cast, Bachmann took 4,823 votes, just ahead of Paul's 4,671. Pawlenty, who essentially went all in on the straw poll to change the narrative of his struggling campaign, got just 2,293 votes, less than half of his fellow Minnesota lawmaker.”
“In fourth place was Rick Santorum with 1,657 votes, followed by Herman Cain with 1,456,” reports CBS News. “Write-in candidate Rick Perry, who formally entered the race today, got 718 votes, good enough for sixth. That beat out Mitt Romney with 567 votes, Newt Gingrich 385, Jon Huntsman with 68 votes and Thaddeas McCotter with 35 votes.”
The high turnout of nearly 17,000 voters favored Bachmann, who polled strongly among socially conservative Iowa Republicans in the state that last year recalled three Supreme Court justices who joined in the unanimous marriage equality ruling in 2009. Bachmann, who has vowed to support a federal marriage amendment if elected president, is the first woman to win the storied contest in Ames.
The results of the straw poll have no legal standing and offer questionable predictive value for all-important contests like the 2012 Iowa caucus, but they hold the potential to set the tone in the early stages of the Republican contest. Candidates that could be compelled to rethink the rationale for their campaigns include Pawlenty, who invested heavily in the straw poll but failed to see a big return, and Santorum, who had most aggressively challenged Bachmann for the social conservative vote, even questioning her approach to battling same-sex marriage in the debate on Thursday.
Romney, Huntsman, and Gingrich did not contest the poll although they were on the ballot. Perry, a formidable fund-raiser who came in a close second to Romney in a poll of Republican and independent voters last week, announced his bid from South Carolina on Saturday, stealing some of the spotlight from the straw poll competitors. The Texas governor is due to visit Iowa on Sunday.