Ames, Iowa -- The results of the Ames Straw Poll:
1. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (4823 votes, 28.55%)
2. Congressman Ron Paul (4671, 27.65%)
3. Governor Tim Pawlenty (2293, 13.57%)
4. Senator Rick Santorum (1657, 9.81%)
5. Herman Cain(1456, 8.62%)
6. Governor Rick Perry (718, 3.62%) write-in
7. Governor Mitt Romney (567, 3.36%)
8. Speaker Newt Gingrich (385, 2.28%)
9. Governor Jon Huntsman (69, 0.41%)
10. Congressman Thad McCotter (35, 0.21%)
This is almost exactly as I expected, with one exception: Paul came much closer to Bachmann, and further ahead of Pawlenty, than I had predicted.
This result is brutal for Pawlenty. A close third wouldn't have been anything to celebrate, but it would have given his campaign some life. This doesn't. Not only did he get less than half of Bachmann's total, he got less than half of Paul's. He is now telling the press that his campaign "made progress in moving from the back of the pack into a competitive position," but I'm not sure he made enough progress. He may not be forced to drop out immediately, but it's hard to see how he'll raise enough money to build up an organization that clearly needs some work. Add into this Rick Perry's entry -- and Perry's write-in victory over Romney is a symptom of enthusiasm that will quickly push him to the top tier -- and one has to conclude that Pawlenty has very little chance of recovering unless something very strange happens in the coming months.
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