Michele Bachmann bombs in Iowa caucus, finishes in sixth place [UPDATED]

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Has Michele Bachmann hit bottom?
Michele Bachmann did not get the miracle she was praying for in Iowa Tuesday night.

With 99 percent of votes tallied in the Iowa caucus, Bachmann has officially finished in a distant sixth place, losing to every candidate but John Huntsman, who didn't even campaign for the event.

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney virtually tied for first place, each taking around 24.5 percent of the vote. Texas congressman Ron Paul followed in a close third, followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Bachmann racked up a mere five percent, a miserable showing that has dire implications to the future of her presidential campaign. An Iowa native, the Minnesota congresswoman devoted a substantial portion of her campaign to trying to appeal to the state's social conservative voters. Clearly, that strategy failed.

As we chronicled in this week's feature, "The Fall of Michele Bachmann," it's been a long way down for Bachmann since the Ames Straw Poll in mid-August. In the two and a half months following Ames, she went from Republican frontrunner to barely hanging in the race.

"Her fall was precipitous," said Donald Downs, political science professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in an interview last month. "It was strong and forceful. It almost seemed to be overnight."

Moving forward, there's no indication that things are going to get any better for Team Bachmann. From here, the campaign trail leads to the primary in New Hampshire -- the state where Bachmann's entire staff quit en masse last October. Recent polls predict Bachmann will land somewhere in the low single digits (again).

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Michele Bachmann says she won't drop out of the race.
As the results came in Tuesday night and Bachmann continued to lose ground, it raised an obvious question: Would Bachmann continue to campaign?

Bachmann gave us an answer around 10:40 p.m., when she addressed the crowd with a speech riddled with strange remarks, given the caucus results. At first, it sounded like she was about to bow out of the race, proclaiming that "the people of Iowa have spoken."

"The process worked," she continued, appearing exhausted. "It's the people of Iowa who chose tonight. It wasn't the pundits. It wasn't the media."

Bachmann's interpretation of Iowa's message is a little mysterious, however. She did, after all, lose in every county -- even her birth place.

But she went on to lay out the future of her campaign, making it clear she wasn't going anywhere. Comparing herself to Ronald Reagan, Bachmann said she was the "true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama."

"There are many more chapters to be written on the path to our presidential nomination," she said.

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6 comments
Darling
Darling

I'm dumbstruck at the comments by conservatives sad and wailing over the loss of a "good president" and blaming the mainstream media for not covering her (oops they did).  It's like Michele Bachmann is the dead Kim Jong Il.

pizza
pizza

Of which supporters do you speak? Nobody likes Bachman, even in MN.

Swee2th
Swee2th

Here's an idea -- why don't you go back to Washington and represent the people who elected you? They didn't put you back in office a year ago just so you could start campaigning with our tax dollars you pompous loon. (Her salary is paid by the taxpayers, so yes, technically, her traveling around the country NOT legislating equates to campaigning with our money.)

green23
green23

Bachmann seems to be running *against* the media more than she is running *for* the nomination. But that's always been her MO: she wants voters to "stick it to the libs" and support her, rather than support her based on her positions and record.

Her much-vaunted Tea Party support abandoned her, even though the Tea Party movement seems to have been taken over by evangelicals.

All that's left for her is to drop out and run for Senate, where polling projects she will lose to Klobuchar by 20 points. That should be the end for Bachmann, as losing is a cardinal sin to the MNGOP. Just ask Emmer, Mark Kennedy (who?), Coleman, or Boschwitz.

pizza
pizza

Abandoned by god

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