Bachmann Wins Iowa Straw Poll, Paul Ends Up Second

Pawlenty a distant third followed by Santorum


AMES, Iowa — Riding a surge of support from social conservatives, Michele Bachmann claimed victory Saturday at the Ames GOP straw poll — a triumph that will cement her status as the Iowa frontrunner.

Bachmann, in just her third term in Congress, won 4,823 votes to narrowly defeat her nearest opponent, Ron Paul, who had 4,671.

Tim Pawlenty, who had spent most of the last month and much of his war chest here in an attempt to win Ames, came in a distant third with 2,293 votes – a disappointing finish that may spell the end of his campaign

On a mild summer day, 16,892 Iowans cast ballots on the campus here at Iowa State University. That was an increase of nearly 3,000 votes from the 2007 straw poll and an indication of the enthusiasm Iowa Republicans have going into next year’s election.

Rick Santorum came in fourth, with 1,657 votes, barely edging out Herman Cain, who got 1456 votes.

Mitt Romney, the national GOP frontrunner and Ames winner in 2007, didn’t contest this year’s straw poll but still captured 567 votes

via Politico: Pawlenty staying in

Statement from Tim Pawlenty: "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."