Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, has presidential poll numbers in Iowa that shoves Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty down to single digits. According to the Des Moines Register:
Bachmann, 55, rates the strongest with very conservative caucusgoers, along with those who are well-educated and ages 45 to 64.
More respondents pick her as their second choice, 18 percent, than name Romney, 10 percent.
“Michele Bachmann has always looked like a fit for Iowa on paper, and the debate likely helped solidify her standing,” pollster J. Ann Selzer said. “This poll confirms she has potential to do very well here.”
When it comes to popularity, Bachmann, a religious conservative, is in a different league from the other candidates. She has very low unfavorables at 12 percent. Only Texas Gov. Rick Perry, not a declared candidate yet, is lower at 8 percent.
Ms. Bachmann will make her official announcement for her 2012 presidential bid on Monday in her childhood hometown of Waterloo, Iowa. She made her presidential aspirations clear when she participated in the last GOP presidential debate in New Hampshire two weeks ago, a move that guaranteed widespread media coverage. Moreover, in the debate, Rep. Bachmann outperformed a higher polling GOP presidential contenders during the debate.
It goes without saying that Governor Pawlenty was more than blind-sided by the Bachmann’s un-offical entrance into the race via the New Hampshire debate. Many were expecting Mr. Pawlenty to grab the bull by the horns and go after GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney, but Pawlenty’s complacency to do so not only hurt him in New Hampshire but also left an impression on early primary voters that Mr. Pawlenty may not have the courage to take on the current occupant in the White House if he cannot even challenge Mitt Romney on healthcare.
Believing she will be a gaffe-prone candidate against President Obama, liberals seem gleeful that Bachmann is becoming a favorite among GOP primary voters. Of course, this notion may be due to left-wingers watching too many MSNBC edited “Hardball” packages of Rep. Bachmann, complete with circus music. However, liberal activists remain mystified over the reaction to the Minnesota congresswoman and continue to attack the GOP field as a whole.
After several stops in Iowa this week, Ms. Bachmann will travel down to South Carolina, another early primary state.