In the first big test of the US Presidential race in 2012, Republican Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann has come out on top. She won the Ames straw poll in Iowa – a non-binding vote which shows which candidates are popular and could become the Republican presidential candidate.
Votes were cast after a political festival at the university there. Bachmann, the representative from Minnesota and a favourite of the conservatives and Tea Party movement, beat prominent Republicans including Ron Paul and Tim Pawlenty.
In a busy day for the Republicans, Governor of Texas, Rick Perry announced he will be running for the party’s candidacy in next year’s presidential election. Speaking in South Carolina, Perry said:
“We cannot and must not endure four more years of rising unemployment, rising taxes, rising debt, rising energy dependence on nations that intend us harm. It’s time to get America working again.”
Perry is a staunch social conservative who has a track record of creating jobs in Texas and is in favour of reducing the role of government. He is seen as a frontrunner in the race to become presidential candidate and is due to visit Iowa on Sunday.