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 Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid