Share & Connect
In Ames, Iowa, Tea Party representative Michele Bachmann won a symbolic straw poll at a political festival held at the campus of Iowa State University. The vote was held on the same day as Rick Perry announced his candidacy and comes five months before the first official Iowa primaries, according to the BBC.
The Ames straw poll was a vote by attendees over the age of 18 and by the end of the day, Bachmann had received 4,823 of the 16,892 votes. Runner-up Ron Paul took a close 4,671 votes in the non-binding contest while former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlentry finished third with 2,283.
The straw poll is expected to give Bachmann’s campaign a boost and in her speech to the crowd after the count, she states “This is the first step towards taking the White house in 2012 and we have just sent a message that Barack Obama will be a one-term president.” The Boston Globe could report that the victor, who is the first female candidate to win the informal contest, had broken down in tears and hugged her husband after learning the result.
Despite the poll holding no official significance, observers agree that the poll has symbolic significance for the candidates. “It’s a big boost for her,” said Mike Huckabee, former winner of the caucuses, to reporters. “Whoever wins or comes in second, they get gas for their fire. Whoever doesn’t, they get water for theirs.”
Fire is definitely burning in the Republican camp where the race for a chance to challenge President Obama on key issues such as the recent downgrade, unemployment, health care and Wall Street will be critical in the bid to convince voters of what camp can best resuscitate the ‘ailing America’ as the Huffington Post puts it.
On the day of the straw poll, thousands of GOP activist gather at the Iowa State University campus to enjoy the festival that also serves as a fundraiser for the state GOP. Despite the attempt of several candidates to sway voters, Michele Bachmann stole the show. Her rhetoric and energy was noted as the important ingredient in her triumphant day.
In her speech, she emphasized her connection to the state and her opposition to abortion and gay marriage. Later, she danced on stage with her husband before 3,000 supporters and hundreds more who had gathered outside in hopes of catching a glimpse.
Image Courtesy of http://www.facebook.com/teambachmann