First the detailed results. Out of 16,584 votes cast:
- Michele Bachmann 4,823 votes / 29.1%
- Ron Paul 4,671 / 28.2%
- Tim Pawlenty 2,293 / 13.8%
- Rick Santorum 1,567 / 9.4%
- Herman Cain 1,456 / 8.8%
- Rick Perry 718 as a write-in / 4.3%
- Mitt Romney 567 / 3.4%
- Newt Gingrich 385 / 2.3%
- Jon Huntsman 69 / .4%
- Thad McCotter 35 / .2%
Neither Mitt Romney nor Rick Perry participated in the event, but Rick Perry showed much stronger than the former Massachusetts governor.
While Michelle Bachmann is a daughter of Iowa, has strong social Conservative beliefs and was strong in the polls entering the Iowa event, another important detail can be gleaned from her win: she has the organization to win caucuses.
There has been much made about her only being able to win at the district level in her own state of Minnesota. To win the straw poll she had to overtake significant spending by Tim Pawlenty and an always strong Ron Paul Ames straw poll organization.
Tim Pawlenty being in the top three will likely keep him going in the 2012 election cycle despite lackluster numbers in nationwide polls. Pawlenty admitted so much saying that he needed a strong finish in Iowa to jump start his campaign. After the results came out, his campaign released a statement:
Congratulations to Congresswoman Michele Bachmann for her victory in today’s straw poll. We made progress in moving from the back of the pack into a competitive position for the caucuses, but we have a lot more work to do. This is a long process to restore America — we are just beginning and I’m looking forward to a great campaign.
Gingrich, Huntsman, and McCotter showed poorly. Newt’s campaign has dealt with numerous defections, mis-steps with Conservatives, and it has run out of money. Huntsman is far too liberal to survive the nomination process and McCotter has image, money and name recognition problems to overcome. It is highly likely that 2 or 3 of these candidates will withdraw from the race in coming weeks.
Rick Perry will be in Waterloo, Iowa tomorrow to officially kick off his 2012 Iowa campaign. Perry represents what might be the biggest threat to Bachmann in Iowa and should top Mitt Romney in most other states.
We may be looking at a tight race between Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry as the presidential race moves across the nation.