Iowa poll puts Bachmann in fourth

Eight percent of potential Iowa caucus-goers support Michele Bachmann’s presidential bid, according to a poll released today by the Des Moines Register.

In June, Bachmann was at 22 percent and tied for the lead in the state. She’s since fallen to fourth place as the groups of voters she’s tried to court — Christians and conservatives — settle for other candidates. The Register poll reflects a trend of state and nationwide polls showing Bachmann’s plunging support.

Herman Cain and Mitt Romney are virtually tied for the lead in Iowa, at 23 and 22 percent respectively.

Here’s the recap the Register provided for Bachmann:

The U.S. representative from Minnesota, 55, campaigns in churches and pitches herself as a child of Christ, but even voters who identify themselves as born-again Christians aren’t going her way. Among that key caucus constituency, 11 percent pick Bachmann as their first choice. (Herman Cain is at 26 percent.) And she’s the second choice of only 6 percent, the new poll shows.

Bachmann claims this is the year conservatives don’t have to compromise by nominating a more moderate candidate. More likely caucus-goers agree with her than not. But among that group, she ties for third with Ron Paul at 10 percent.

And her history of founding the tea party caucus in Congress gets her a little mileage. Among tea party supporters, Bachmann ranks fourth (10 percent) after Cain (27 percent), Romney (15 percent) and Paul (13 percent).

The Waterloo native had as good a launch as a campaign could orchestrate: a shining debate showing on June 13, a heady surge to second place in the June Iowa Poll, a formal announcement in her birthplace, and a victory in the Iowa straw poll on Aug. 13.

Then Rick Perry’s entry in the race on straw poll day snuffed out her candlepower. Today, she’s 1 point ahead of him in Iowa.

The poll does bring some good news for lower-tier candidates still looking to have an impact on the race: 15 percent of poll respondents said they have yet to choose a preferred candidate, and 59 percent said they could still be persuaded to pick someone else.

Devin Henry can be reached at dhenry@minnpost.com.

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