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Michele Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll; Tim Pawlenty Ends His Presidential Candidacy

Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty
Scott Olson / Spencer Platt, Getty Images

GOP presidential candidate and Tea Party darling Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, won her first victory of the campaign season at Saturday’s Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.

Out of 16,892 votes cast, she claimed 4,823 of them, narrowly edging out second-place finisher, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, by only 152 votes.

Bachmann’s fellow Minnesotan, former governor Tim Pawlenty, came in third, while former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum took fourth place and Herman Cain, a previous CEO for the Godfather’s Pizza restaurant franchise, came in fifth.

Mitt Romney, whom many believe to be the GOP front-runner, placed sixth after a disastrous soapbox speech at the Iowa State Fair on Thursday. Texas Governor Rick Perry, who announced his candidacy on Saturday and was not on the ballot, still got four percent of the vote as a write-in candidate.

Since the Ames Straw Poll started in 1979, just one winner has gone on to win the presidency — George W. Bush in 2000– and it has predicted the winner of the Republican nomination only twice. Still, Bachmann’s win, which she called a “down payment in taking the country back,” will give her momentum in the upcoming primaries.

Meanwhile, Pawlenty saw the writing on the wall. On Sunday, he told Jake Tapper of ABC News’ ‘This Week’ that he’s ending his White House bid, saying, “I wish it would have been different, but obviously the pathway forward for me doesn’t really exist.”

[The Washington Times]

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