Michele Bachmann narrowly captured the Ames Iowa Straw Poll on Saturday by securing a little over a quarter of the 16,892 votes. While the victory of the Iowa-born Bachmann was widely expected in the absence of Mitt Romney, it will nevertheless come as a welcomed relief to her after a disappointing presidential debate performance two days earlier.
The bigger news though, came in the stunning performance of Texas Representative Ron Paul. In a result that will send shockwaves through the Republican establishment, the 75-year old finished an extremely close second, merely 0.91% behind Bachmann. Rounding up the top three was former Minnesota Governor, Tim Pawlenty, who came in a distant third with 2,293 votes.
Rick Santorum and Herman Cain finished a creditable fourth and fifth respectively, while the sole write-in candidate, Texas Governor Rick Perry, attained a very respectable sixth placed finish with 4.26% of the votes, giving notice to the other candidates in the field.
The next three places were from the non-participants of the poll – Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Jon Huntsman - finishing seventh to ninth. Michigan Representative Thad McCotter rounded up the results with a miserable 35 votes.
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