Bachmann’s Iowa Straw Poll Win Signals Early Tea Party Role in Shaping GOP Primary (2)

The race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination heated up this weekend as Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Iowa straw poll and Texas Gov. Rick Perry formally announced his candidacy. Bachmann led the Iowa contest with more than 4,800 votes out of almost 17,000 votes cast, and Texas Rep. Ron Paul placed a close second. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty placed a distant third, and on Sunday he announced he was leaving the presidential race. We speak with Sarah Posner, senior editor of Religion Dispatches, who spent the weekend covering the poll in Iowa for The Nation magazine. “Bachmann is, much more than the rest of them, going to use the language, the sort of rhetoric and ideology that she learned at Oral Roberts [University] to meld the fiscal conservatism, small government message with her religious message,” Posner says.