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

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

US Urges Taliban to Stay With Afghan Peace Talks

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs