Bachmann Claims Victory in Iowa Straw Poll

Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll, the first big indicator of who might emerge on top in the GOP presidential primary, on Saturday. Ron Paul finished a close second, and Tim Pawlenty came in a distant third with fewer than half his Minnesotan rival's votes. Bachmann's win positions her strongly for the Iowa caucus in February—although analysts disagree over how much of a bellwether the poll is. Presumed primary frontrunner Mitt Romney, who didn't campaign in Iowa ahead of the poll, was seventh; Newt Gingrich, who's held onto his bid despite increasingly dismal prospects, finished behind him. The poll itself was overshadowed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s entry into the race Saturday. Perry was sixth in the poll on write-in votes alone.

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