Current Status: Rising
The number two spot might seem a little high for a candidate that only began to flirt with a caucus run about a month ago, but Bachmann is a unique candidate. Unlike the other candidates on this list, Bachmann will appeal to both social conservatives and tea party activists. If she runs, it’s easy to see her doing really well in Iowa.
Throughout our nation’s history, only two members of the House of Representatives have been elected president – James Garfield and Abraham Lincoln. Many members of congress have attempted to run for office, but none will be as well positioned as Bachmann should she run.
Bachmann has proven herself to be an astute fundraiser. She raised $13.2 million in 2010. That’s as much as Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, and Duncan Hunter raised for their 2008 presidential campaigns combined. It’s also almost as much as Huckabee raised for his entire campaign. That figure is also more that Speaker John Boehner raised in for his congressional campaign in the 2010 cycle.
Bachmann would also likely be aided by her close friendship with Iowa Congressman Steve King. King was on the sidelines for most of the 2008 caucuses. He didn’t get involved in a campaign until he endorsed Fred Thompson in December. Once King had selected his candidate, he immediately hit the road to campaign for Thompson. King didn’t just do what the Thompson people wanted him to, he basically personally willed the campaign to its third place finish. Had King not involved himself, Thompson wouldn’t have even had a chance to get one of the three tickets out of Iowa.
It’s easy to write off the value of endorsement in modern-day politics, but King’s endorsement matters in Iowa. Many have speculated as to why the Tea Party movement didn’t seem to make as big of waves in Iowa as it did in other parts of the nation. A major factor in this situation was the fact that Iowa’s conservative icon, King, didn’t seek higher office. Had he done so, the political environment would have been much different in 2010 here in Iowa.
A Bachmann run would create a perfect storm in Iowa. Bachmann is already the darling of the tea party, and TheIowaRepublican.com knows of one big tea party endorsement she would likely receive if she runs. When you combine that with King’s statewide network of conservatives in the state it’s a recipe for success.
With many states facing serious financial trouble and high unemployment, being a sitting governor running for president might be more difficult than ever considering the electorate doesn’t have much of an appetite for deficits. Likewise, the U.S. Senate doesn’t look like its about to produce a strong presidential candidate for Republicans either. That opens the door for someone like Bachmann who might have been overlooked in previous caucus cycles.
Bachmann has the advantage of being from the chamber that can actually accomplish something that Republican voters want, like repealing ObamaCare, which the House already approved. She is also well positioned to be able to break with Republican leadership from time to time. Bachmann has already let it be known that she will not support raising the debt ceiling, and it’s also probably a good bet that she will not vote for the budget either. That allows her to be able to remain pure, which will be necessary if she is courting the tea party vote.
Bachmann may be an unconventional candidate, but she is the only candidate who doesn’t have any major obstacles between herself and a caucus victory. If she runs, she will be a frontrunner in Iowa by the time the caucuses near.
Photo by Dave Davidson
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