Bachmann Wins Ames Straw Poll

SUNDAY POLS UPDATE: After a disappointing third-place showing in the Ames straw poll, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is withdrawing from the 2012 presidential race.


Here are the results of the Ames Straw Poll:

Bachmann:  4823

Paul:            4671

Pawlenty:     2293

Santorum:    1657

Cain:            1456

Romney:        567

Gingrich:        385

Huntsman:       69

McCotter:        35

From Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:

For Bachmann, the victory further solidifies her as the clear frontrunner in the Iowa caucuses which are set to kick off the presidential balloting process in early February 2012.

Bachmann entered the straw poll as the favorite, thanks to the fact that polling suggested her surging in the state and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney chose not to participate in an event he won in 2007.

Taking no chances, Bachmann saturated the state with television ads in the run-up to the Straw Poll and barnstormed across the state in the final days before the vote.

87 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. harrydoby says:

    Meant to post this on Friday.  But even more appropriate today I suppose.

    Song by our very own Richie Furay

  2. Leonard Smalls says:

    It looks like it’s a Romney/Perry/Bachmann race.

  3. Middle of the Road says:

    Further commentary completely unnecessary.  

  4. Automaticftp says:

    “Republicans at war with reality.”

    I just hope the Dems do something with this golden nugget.  

  5. nancycronk says:

    For a libertarian candidate (okay, so he claims to be an R) to get that many votes, there is something that is resonating with non-traditional R voters that Dems can learn from.

    • Ralphie says:

      Never confuse correlation with causation.

    • dwyer says:

      I don’t think they hear what people are saying…not only on the far right but also within the democratic party.  

      • BlueCat says:

        (see it happened again). The Obama administration has been remarkably tone deaf. They seem to think only the far left base is the annoying problem for them but it’s so obviously the whole broad spectrum of Dems as well as the type of indies who elected him in 2008 who are increasingly disappointed and to whom his team continues to turn a deaf ear.

        And they continually lag behind instead of getting out front on leadership.  The Bin Laden triumph was pretty much the sole exception and they completely wasted the political capital gained there almost immediately.  

  6. GalapagoLarry says:

    It’s going to get boggled a few more times before this is over.

  7. GalapagoLarry says:

    It’s going to be Romney and Perry and teaparty riots at every one of their stumps. Dig the popper out of the basement and sit back.

  8. thiokuutoo says:

    Didn’t anyone tell McCotter to go negative?

  9. ellbee says:

    This is so dumb I honestly can’t believe Pols went with it.  A straw poll?  In Aames?  That includes Ron Paul and his merry band of truther idiot Xbox nation fanboys?

    Please wake me when you Dems have something tangible to sweat about.

    • Ralphie says:

      I don’t think the Dems are sweating about anything other than the guy at the helm.

    • Automaticftp says:

      make a royal fool of itself for all to see?  


      It’s not just Pols, it’s everywhere–the NYT, WP, CNN, and it’s the lead story on Fox.  

    • GalapagoLarry says:

      Remember 2000 and 2004? We libruls were all smarty pantsy, wise-assed and know-it-all before those elections. That Bush boy, what a laff riot we thought he was. Oops.

    • ClubTwitty says:

      You have a point…oh wait, it was pretty much wall-to-wall coverage…

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      c rork wrote this, not “the Pols.” You make this mistake a lot, is it some kind of weird ref working strategy or is it just reading comprehension?

      I’m only asking so I can help you avoid it next time. This must be embarrassing for you, like Bachmann and Paul themselves.

      • ellbee says:

        That’s on me.  I think I need to look at the byline more often and carefully.

        • BlueCat says:

          This is a political blog and this has been the political story of the past week, as it is every year.  Everybody knows that it doesn’t predict the winner but it often shows who is not viable and what ideas are getting the most traction with the base. It clearly eliminated Pawlenty in his own judgement.   The entire spectrum of media doesn’t seem to share your view that it is entirely uninteresting.

          Your making this out to be a case of the Pols or anyone else being dumb or sweating or anything other than just discussing and enjoying the political spectacle du jour doesn’t make the slightest sense.

          • ellbee says:

            Any poll that Ron Paul’s idiot supporters can saturate is a meaningless poll.  

            I’m not going to get too hung up on anything until he drops out.

            • BlueCat says:

              It was a clarity problem. Silly me. I thought it was just a clear but nonsensical criticism of a political blog for talking about, you know, the week’s big wall to wall covered by everybody political event and a completely unsupported supposition that we silly libs were sweating over it or assigning too much importance to it. Sorry.  My bad.

            • raymond1 says:

              … not like those of scholar-king candidates like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry that you’d go “full-bore” to support.  Your distinction, between the idiocy of Paul’s supporters and yourself as an enthusiastic backer of those two brainiacs, eludes me.

              • Middle of the Road says:

                regarding Ron Paul and Bachmann.

                Paul’s supporters are 9/11 conspiracy theory nuts and while Paul has flat out said he doesn’t agree with them or believe in what they believe (see video below–he can’t get much clearer than what he said in 2008 during the SC presidential debate), his supporters have permanently tainted his already sort of kooky image by continuing to espouse that sort of crap. I don’t see a whole lot of daylight between the supporters of Michelle Bachmann and the supporters of Ron Paul, particularly considering some of the “theories” and “beliefs” that have come out of her mouth.

                Perry is a different story altogether and we would all be wise not to attempt to marginalize his appeal. You better believe he is a force to be reckoned with in 2012.  

                • BlueCat says:

                  to turn the average American off to Perry in a general election and plenty of unpopular ideas for opponents to mine in his own book “Fed Up”.  But you are correct that he isn’t currently perceived as a fringe eccentric in the same way Paul is. Paul simply is never going to be considered a serious candidate by enough Republican primary voters. Perry is not so lightly dismissed but, ultimately, he would be seen as too extreme to win national election.

                  Pretty confident there isn’t going to be a President Perry. Just for starters, one could expect Oprah, tool of the anti-Christ according to Perry preacher pal, to put up a very strong resistance with the full support of Satan. And that sun demon that slept with the Japanese Emperor and screwed up their economy.  

                  • Middle of the Road says:

                    In fact, I’m about as far apart on this one with you as it is humanly possible. And boy, do I wish I saw it your way. I’d sleep a lot better at night if I did, believe me.

                    Since I don’t see it that way, can you throw me a bone (or a meaningless Reader’s Digest platitude) and cheer me up just a little?  

                    • sxp151 says:

                      Other candidates have been working for months (or years) and haven’t gotten very far. Perry is entering around the same time as Thompson did (relatively), and his major appeal seems to be that he’s “none of the above” (exactly like Thompson). Already you’re starting to see little bits of trouble (like on immigration), which is pretty substantial for a guy who hasn’t been investigated at all by the national media.

                      Sarah Palin looked pretty good about three days into her nomination as Vice President too.

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      make me feel a little better. Thank you. Seriously. And also slightly icky having to think of a “handsome Fred Thompson.”  

                    • BlueCat says:

                      but my gut tells me Perry’s got too much crazy garbage to go the distance. Thanks, sxp.

                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      I mean, come on. Just look at my sig line. That cheers me up every single day.  

                    • sxp151 says:

                      comes from here. I remember seeing the original episode with my family and laughing out loud. (Short version: it’s due to Margaret Carlson, who had a weird crush on him for a long time.)


                    • Middle of the Road says:

                      Some chicks are really into lawyers, even fake ones.  

                    • Mr. Toodles says:

                      He just also played one on tv.

                    • Diogenesdemar says:

                      they tell that to every law school admitant who hasn’t yet paid the tuition.

    • JeffcoBlue says:

      T-Paw seems to think it was pretty important.

    • raymond1 says:

      … and that’s not an opinion, it’s a solid statistical finding: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.n

      I don’t mean to sound uppity, because I shared your view until I saw Nate Silver’s surprising finding.  The intuition behind the finding that Ames predicts caucus success surprisingly well is that caucuses are (stupid and) unique forms of elections that place a premium on two things Ames predicts better than polls do: (a) organizational strength and (b) intensity of support.

      • raymond1 says:

        75% think the next president of the United States should be Michele Bachmann, Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, or Herman Cain.


        • harrydoby says:

          Sometimes foolish — Lenin, Hitler — sometimes courageous — FDR, Churchill.

          With Republicans determined to shrink the economy, reducing jobs and any safety nets, desperation will be on the rise (with the implicit support of many Democrats).  We are a far cry from the conditions giving rise to any of the four above, fortunately.

          But, if a courageous choice is not available, then the foolish choice may actually prevail.

          It’s time for Democrats to show some courage, since the Republicans have the foolish choices totally covered.

          • Barron X says:


            4 better or 4 worse.

            We are 3 headlines and 2 flashmobs away from the conditions giving rise to any of the four above, fortunately or un.


            • harrydoby says:

              Unemployed youth — 16-25 year olds — is the highest in 30 years, here as well as in Britain.

              Bored, restless, and with their own form of an echo chamber to reinforce their feelings of disaffection and desperation, we do have a simmering problem that has been basically ignored.

              This is yet another issue that private industry is unwilling or unable to deal with effectively.  Destruction of the middle-class directly affects their children too.  And the greatest danger is that the impact of our inaction today could be devastating for decades to come — giving rise to a Lost Generation.

      • ellbee says:

        …and unexpected.

        I think I just tune out any kind of poll, online,  or straw poll that Ron Paul takes part in.

      • harrydoby says:

        I agree with ellbee — Nate Silver’s analysis is very interesting.  Using his criteria of placement in the straw poll, and degree of conservatism, I’d have to go with a back of the envelope calculation that it’ll be between Bachmann and Perry in the Iowa caucuses, for whatever that’s worth.  

        I just can’t see Paul pulling strong numbers in the caucuses.  And Romney has already written off the state.  No other candidate has the slightest credibility in a national race.  With a three-way struggle among Bachmann, Perry and Romney, all three will get pretty beat up through the primaries, and bleed major dollars in the process.

        That should allow Obama time off to focus his attention on leading us out of a double-dip recession and work on his storyline highlighting the differences between tossing around nut-ball GOP ideas, and actually governing the country.

        • raymond1 says:

          Congrats to Paul on having such a devoted following that he got almost 3000 people to vote for him… but those may be close to the only 3000.

          Perry is hoping Bachmann is like Paul — that she’s limited to a small number of dir-hards, so maybe her 3000 straw poll supporters are close to the max of her support.  But for now, who knows.

          Romney, I’d guess, will just throw enough clandestine effort at the caucuses (tracking supporters, urging them to show up, offering free rides, etc.), to hope to come in a strong 3rd — ahead of Paul and not terribly far from Bachmann/Perry.

    • Diogenesdemar says:

      Sweet dreams, Rip Van Ellbee . . .  

    • Obvious Alias says:

      But in all seriousness I agree the R straw poll is overhyped — I recall Mitt Romney winning in 2007, which is of course why he was the Republican nominee who went on face Obama…oh wait nevermind.

  10. scarter says:

    Even the bipolar and mentally challenged are entitled to be represented (see Tom Tancredo).

  11. nathanbill says:

    Marketable real estate perth is a whole other animal compared to housing investing. Commercial properties have different financing necessities and they have different formulas.  

  12. Littletonian says:

    at an Iowa McDonald’s along I-80 on Friday.

    What astonished me was the total lack of any entourage – it was just the two of them and one pudgy campaign staffer. The McDonald’s guy called out an order for Newt and nobody even looked up. It was like watching that episode of The West Wing where Vinick shows up at Starbuck’s after losing the election and nobody notices he’s there.

    I’ve never seen clearer evidence that Gingrich is done.

  13. Automaticftp says:

    Amazing that any of the Repubs had the self-awareness to withdraw.

  14. Gray in Mountains says:

    Jeb Bush.

    I know he had said earlier he wasn’t running, but I’ll bet there are folk after him right now. If he stays out this year then watch out in ’16. Unless the Democrats come up with someone more than they have now for ’16 he would be a steamroller.

    • harrydoby says:

      Had big bro not laid such a big turd in the punchbowl in 2008.  Eight years won’t be nearly enough to get rid of that stink.

      GW has done for the Bush name what a certain Civil War era doctor did for the name Mudd.

    • VanDammer says:

      So that’s a sure sign daddy ain’t running.

      And any ass-kissing advisor, no matter how beholden, has to honestly address GW’s “nucular” half-life in sullying the family name.

      With everything the same and a halfway decent economy (or recovery) B4 GW left then there might have been a case made, but too much of this ditched car wreck is owed to GW’s impaired driving.

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