News / USA

Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll

Non-binding vote is key test for Republican candidates

Multimedia

Fourteen months before voters in the United States will choose a President in the general election, Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, originally from Iowa, won a crucial early test of her popularity among Republicans.  She placed first in the Iowa Straw Poll, a non-binding poll that does not officially influence the primary elections.  Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished a close second.

Watch our video:



Bachmann spent a significant amount of time and money crisscrossing the state of Iowa in the weeks leading up to the August 13 Iowa Straw Poll.  That effort paid off for her, as she defeated front-runner, former Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry.

Bachmann told the crowds that came to hear her speak: “You can always trust the judgment of an Iowan - you don’t spend money you don’t have!”

Speaking before enthusiastic supporters in the state of her birth, Bachmann restated a theme that resonated with voters on the campaign trail:

“For two months, I have been leading the charge in Washington against raising the debt ceiling.  For a long period of time, I was the lone voice crying in the wilderness of Washington.  Now Standard and Poors agrees with me… this wasn’t such a good idea.”

Just under 17,000 voters took part in the Straw Poll, open to all residents of Iowa who paid for a ticket.  In the final tally, Bachmann, with 4,832 votes, narrowly defeated Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who came in second with 4,671 votes.

For Jeff Olsen, a teacher originally from Austin, Texas now living in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Bachmann’s win was no surprise:  "It’s very understandable why she won.  Being able to speak in those enthusiastic ten second soundbites.  Being able to pretty much describe the problems that many Americans are facing in the attention span of less than ten seconds is going to curry favor.”

As voters filtered into the Hilton Coliseum on the campus of Iowa State University to cast their ballots, news spread that Texas Governor Rick Perry was officially entering the race for the Republican nomination for President.  His candidacy gives Olsen, originally from Texas, another choice when it comes time to vote in the Iowa Caucuses in early 2012. Olson said of Perry:  “I think its another conservative voice.  I think it’s another experienced politician.  I think that had he put forth the organization and energy into an Iowa Straw Poll that a Bachmann or Ron Paul had, I think he would have been in the top two with them.”

Nate Crain, the national finance chairman for the Americans for Rick Perry political action committee says Perry’s absence from the Straw Poll won’t affect his standing with Iowa voters.  Considering he did not campaign in Iowa, Perry finished with a respectable 718 write-in votes in the poll.  Crain says Perry’s visit to Iowa after the Straw poll will be the first of many in the coming months:  “He’ll do a lot of campaigning.  He’ll want to reach out to Iowa voters because he’ll be participating in the Iowa caucus, and Iowa is obviously is the first state to vote, and he’ll reach out to Iowans just like everyone else does.”

Teacher Jeff Olsen is considering throwing his support behind Perry after the candidate he voted for finished poorly in the Straw Poll.

“I decided to vote for Newt Gingrich just because I think the most important issue facing America right now is to have a President who has a track record of balancing a budget, balancing a federal budget, and he certainly accomplished that as Speaker.  Obviously I was in the minority.”

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich finished eighth with 385 votes.  He did not campaign in Iowa as extensively as other candidates, and says his focus is on the Iowa Caucuses:  “Our goal has been January, and frankly we are moving forward for January.  We have some very strong people who are helping us, and we think that is going to dramatically broaden in September.”

With Perry’s candidacy, the political playing field for the Republican party is more crowded.  In the coming days and weeks, candidates will compete for staff and money to continue their campaigns.  Those who finished at the bottom of the Straw Poll could find themselves out of the picture before voters have a chance to cast the first ballot.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid