“This is what victory looks like.”
That was presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, mid-afternoon Saturday, reveling among her volunteers and campaign workers in Iowa.
But by evening, the Des Moines Register told a different story. The Minnesota Republican placed last in the newspaper’s much-watched final poll before Tuesday’s pivotal Iowa GOP caucuses.
As expected, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney topped the Des Moines Register poll of likely Republican caucus goers, with 24 percent support. In close second, and still a threat to win, was Texas congressman Ron Paul, at 22 percent.
The big surprise-not-so-big-surprise in the top three: A surging Rick Santorum, the candidate closest to Bachmann on the right side of the ideological continuum, now at 15 percent.
The poll was conducted Tuesday through Friday, a tumultuous period for Bachmann, who saw two of her top campaign aides depart, one defecting to Paul.
The Register’s caveat: “The four-day results don’t reflect just how quickly momentum is shifting in a race that has remained highly fluid for months. If the final two days of polling are considered separately, Santorum rises to second place, with 21 percent, pushing Paul to third, at 18 percent. Romney remains the same, at 24 percent.”
All that said, now fading into fourth place: former Iowa poll leader and House speaker, Newt Gingrich, at 12 percent in the Register poll. Just behind him is Texas Gov. Rick Perry, at 11 percent. And bringing up the rear, at 7 percent, is Bachmann. (Jon Huntsman has not been campaigning in Iowa).
The Bachmann’s campaign take? Poll respondents aren’t necessarily the same people who will be motivated enough to show up at the caucuses Tuesday night, when she’s still hoping for a miracle.
More from Star Tribune
More From Hot Dish Politics
The two sides are battling district by district in a race to secure the 68 seats needed for majority.
VP Joe Biden to visit Duluth Friday
Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday formalized his request that legislative leaders move quickly in presenting him a plan to address rising premiums in the individual health insurance market.
President Obama throws support behind Angie Craig
Rep. Roz Peterson, R-Lakeville, said at a Monday news conference that a constituent had contacted her after receiving a voter registration form from MNsure, the state-run health insurance exchange, even though the person in question is already registered to vote and does not purchase health insurance through MNsure.