New York, August 16 (): US Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann has won a key pre-election campaign poll in the state of Iowa on Saturday in the first big test of the 2012 Republican presidential race.
The vote was held on the same day Texas Governor Rick Perry has announced his candidacy to run for the presidency in 2012. Mr Perry had declared his candidacy earlier in the day at an event in South Carolina, telling his supporters: “I full-well believe I’m going to win.”
He slammed the Obama administration, saying the US “cannot afford four more years of this rudderless leadership”. His announcement at a South Carolina event comes as fellow candidates face their first key test of grassroots party opinion in an Iowa straw poll.
In the straw poll, Michelle Bachmann won 4,823 votes to 4,671 for Ron Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas. Tim Pawlenty, a former Minnesota governor who required a strong showing to save his struggling campaign, ended a distant third in a bruising setback.
“I want to thank all of the wonderful people of Iowa. Thank you everyone, we did this together. “What we saw happen today was this is the very first step towards taking back the White House in 2012 and you have just sent a message that Barack Obama will be a one-term president,” Bachmann said. “This was a wonderful down payment on taking the country back and it started in Iowa. You’ve done it Iowa, thank you.”
“I want to congratulate Congresswoman Bachmann on her victory in today’s straw poll. I’m also very proud of the work my campaign has done, and I appreciate their hard work,” Pawlenty said in a statement. “As I’ve said all along, we needed to show progress to do well, and we did just that. This is a long process to restore America — we are just beginning, and I’m eager for the campaign.”
The Ames Straw Poll is not an official primary but winning is measured a major boost.
The front-runner in Republican national opinion polls, ex-Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, is not aggressively taking part in straw poll in state of Iowa. Mr Mitt Romney is expected to face a strong challenge from the conservative Texas Governor Rick Perry, who succeeded George W Bush as Texas governor.