Baehr: Much Ado About a Straw Poll

So now we know — Michele Bachmann has bested Ron Paul by 152 votes to win the Iowa straw poll. Just over 16,000 Iowans cast votes, a bit more than 1% of the number of Iowans who voted in the 2008 presidential election, and less than 20% of the number who will likely vote in the Iowa GOP caucuses in early 2012.

Does the result mean much? In terms of determining the eventual GOP nominee, I think not. But it will hasten the departure from the race of some of the long-shot candidates.

Bachmann has likely reached the high point of her campaign. With Rick Perry’s entrance in the race on Saturday with his announcement in South Carolina, the second primary state, Bachmann’s early dominance of the right side of the GOP field will now get a serious challenge.


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