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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More