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article imageBachmann squeaks past Paul for Iowa straw poll win

By Michael Krebs     Aug 14, 2011 in Politics
Ames - Tea party favorite and Conservative Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll, beating Congressman Ron Paul by just 152 votes.
Republican presidential candidate and tea party darling Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-MN) finished the Iowa straw poll in first place on Saturday, beating Congressman Ron Paul by 152 votes, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty came in a distant third and promptly dropped out of the presidential contest altogether, as Fox News reported on Sunday.
It was a notable win for Bachmann, but her victory was not unexpected. The Iowa straw poll, and the Iowa Caucus held later in December, are considered primarily Social Conservative events. Bachmann's appeal among Social Conservatives is considerable, as she holds strong positions on the institution of marriage and on religious grounds. Additionally, national front-runner Mitt Romney did not participate in the Ames straw poll, nor did Texas Governor Rick Perry, who only announced his presidential candidacy on Saturday. Governor Perry also holds strong Social Conservative views, so his appeal in Iowa will likely hurt both Bachmann and Romney.
Congressman Ron Paul's performance in Iowa has also placed the Libertarian-minded candidate higher on the national stage, and Bachmann's straw poll win over Dr. Paul was no greater than a one percent margin.
"Ron Paul’s second place finish at Ames was in many ways the most notable result from the straw poll," Daniel Larison wrote in covering the straw poll results for The American Conservative. "There had been expectations that Rep. Paul would do well, and perhaps even win, but finishing within 200 votes of the candidate currently dominating the field in Iowa is still a very good result."
But Bachmann won it and immediately hit the news circuit, appearing on Sunday morning television to share her perspectives in greater detail. Bachmann's message is one of faith and of undoing the economic ills she sees as having been spawned by the Obama White House.
"I am unwilling to accept the new normal of ramped-up spending. We have to grow the economy and reduce government spending. That's how we will get to balance," Bachmann said on CNN's State of the Union, according to USA Today.
More about Michele bachmann, Iowa, Ron paul, iowa straw poll, 2012 presidential election
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