What should be made of Michele Bachmann’s victory at the Iowa Straw Poll?
Well, it obviously doesn’t hurt her cause. But how much will it really help her?
After all, consider the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll. Mitt Romney won it handily while John McCain skipped the event altogether and garnered less than 1% of the vote. Well, we all know how that turned out. Under the circumstances, it’s hardly surprising Romney decided not to expend his resources there this time around. One must also wonder if Rick Perry’s entry into the race will draw support away from Bachmann given their similar constituencies.
On the other hand, Bachmann stirs a passion amongst conservatives in a way that has thus far alluded Romney. This will certainly keep her competitive. There could also be a divide amongst the GOP establishment over Romney and Perry which allows Bachmann the space to come up the middle.
If nothing else, Bachmann has put a dagger into the heart of fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty’s campaign. Given the amount of resources Pawlenty put into the straw poll only to be beaten decisively by both Bachmann and Ron Paul isn’t exactly a morale booster for his supporters.
But then again if Sarah Palin, Chris Christie or Paul Ryan should decide to get in on the action then it might very well be that the only thing Bachmann has grasped is straw.