Michele Bachmann captured the famed Iowa Straw Poll in Ames Saturday, reaching a high-profile benchmark in her meteoric rise to a top-tier presidential candidate.
Bachmann made history, as well, becoming the first woman to win the event. She received 4,823 votes out of the almost 17,000 votes cast. The turnout was a significant leap over four years ago but didn't approach the record of more than 23,000 votes cast back in 1999.
The Minnesota congresswoman narrowly outpaced libertarian Rep. Ron Paul, who had 4,671 votes, and whose red t-shirt-wearing supporters flooded the campus of Iowa State University, and packed the arena when Paul spoke. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty finished third with 2,293, a showing that keeps him in the game for next year’s Iowa caucuses, but had to come off as slightly disappointing.