Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann has surpassed former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in a recent Iowa poll that was conducted by TheIowaRepublican.com. With Bachmann now leading in Iowa, Romney has fallen to second place, but he is still well ahead of third place finisher Tim Pawlenty, who has overtaken Herman Cain my a miniscule margin.
Bachmann received support from 25 percent of likely Iowa caucus goers in the poll, while Romney is backed by 21 percent. The poll also shows signs of growth for former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, who now stands in third place in statistical tie with Herman Cain at just under nine percent. Ron Paul finished with six percent, Newt Gingrich with four percent, Rick Santorum with two percent, and Jon Huntsman rounded out the field with one percent.
Bachmann’s campaign has taken off like a rocket since participating and announcing her presidential intentions during the CNN debate in New Hampshire last month. Here in Iowa, Bachmann has been playing up her Iowa roots. She officially announced her candidacy in Waterloo, the town in which she was born and spent her formative years. The night before she made her announcement, Bachmann’s campaign hosted a rally for 500 locals who came to welcome her home.
While Bachmann’s lead over Romney is just within the margin of error, the poll’s cross tabs show how much momentum her campaign has generated in Iowa. Her favorability is ten points higher than Romney’s, who had the second highest number in that category. Her unfavorable figure is 14 points lower than Romney’s, giving her a stellar plus 65 favorability margin. Her numbers suggest that Bachmann has found a very effective way to appeal to caucus goers.
The conventional wisdom is that Michele Bachmann will win the Iowa Caucuses and that Romney (who is not contesting Iowa) will finish second or third. Then, Romney who has a commanding lead in the New Hampshire polls will win there.
The only question will whether Tim Pawlenty can finish a close second to Bachmann or whether he will finish a distant third. In all reality, should Pawlenty finish third in Iowa, his campaign may be over.