Michele Bachmann has won the Ames Straw Poll:
AMES, Iowa — On the day that Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally joined the Republican presidential race, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) narrowly won the Iowa straw poll in a contest that dealt a major setback to third-place finisher Tim Pawlenty.
The events of Saturday marked the opening of an accelerating chapter in a 2012 GOP campaign that has been slow to take shape. With Mitt Romney established as the frontrunner for the nomination, the entry of Perry and the victory here by Bachmann are likely to reorder the field and intensify the competition to emerge as the former Massachusetts governor’s principal challenger.
I have no use whatever for Michele Bachmann. I voted for Obama in 2008; if the Republicans were to nominate either Michele Bachmann or Rick Perry, in all likelihood I would vote for him again as the lesser evil. I strongly suspect that quite a few independents and moderates feel exactly the same way.
The reality of national politics today is that you can’t get nominated for the presidency without the support of the party base and you can’t secure election just by winning the base. That’s true for both parties. The implication of this is that as despised as they are by the bases of both parties independents and moderates decide presidential elections.
I also feel that I should mention that I am unimpressed with Rick Perry’s running on Texas’s strong economy during the ongoing economic downturn for three reasons. First, Texas’s is a weak governor system—Perry didn’t have much to do with whatever successes Texas is having. Second,
for decades Texas was a net beneficiary of federal largesse paying in taxes significantly less than it received in federal spending, Texas pays only a little more in taxes than it receives in federal spending. By contrast Illinois, for example, has been ripped off by the federal government for decades, generations pays 25% more relative to spending. It’s a lot easier to build an economy when money stays at home than it is when it’s being shipped elsewhere and, specifically, to Texas.
Third, Texas leads in job creation but it leads in the creation of jobs with low wages and many of those jobs don’t carry healthcare benefits. Texas leads the nation in the percentage of unemployed persons and Texas is the major contributor to the number of persons without healthcare in the U. S. IMO Texas is the pathology, not the cure.