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Bachmann: Strength reflected in winning two-month old IA straw poll as woman

GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Addressing a gathering of Republican women here, Michele Bachmann said her victory at a straw poll in Iowa, a state with a record of electing fewer female politicians than other states, was evidence that she could win the presidential nomination.

“This is a state that would be least likely to elect a woman and yet they gave me the No. 1 spot overall in the Iowa straw poll,” Bachmann said, referring to the Ames straw poll, held more than two months ago. She cited, as her evidence of Iowa’s inclination against female politicians, the state’s deep conservatism and large elderly population.

In fact, Iowa is one of only two states, Mississippi being the other, which has never elected a woman governor or to Congress. The highest position attained by a woman is lieutenant governor, currently held by Kim Reynolds.

Bachmann experienced a surge in polls after her Ames victory, but her star has fallen since, as voters flocked to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, then businessman Herman Cain. In an NBC/Marist poll of likely South Carolina Republican voters earlier this month, Bachmann received only 5%, tied with Ron Paul for fifth place.