Want to know what went wrong with Michele Bachmann in Iowa? She may have connected with Hawkeye State voters too much.
The latest numbers from the Des Moines Register poll show that Bachmann is the big winner in the retail poiticking category — what many Iowa experts will tell you is the key to doing well in the caucus state. Asked which candidate they’ve seen in person, Register poll respondents put Bachmann at the top of the list.
Here’s the breakdown:
Michele Bachmann: 20% Ron Paul: 15% Rick Santorum: 12% Mitt Romney: 12% Newt Gingrich: 10% Rick Perry: 8% Jon Huntsman: 3% None: 64%
So more potential Iowa caucus-goers have seen Bachmann in person than any other candidate running. That’s the sort of handshake-and-a-smile campaigning that’s such a big part of campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire. Score one for Bachmann and her focus on the state.
All that work has paid off in some ways: Bachmann is among the most likable and does well with in the “most principled” category. But in other key categories, getting out there has done little for Bachmann’s. Asked who’s “the least knowledgable” in the field, Bachmann comes in just behind Herman Cain as the candidate voters think knows least. Asked who’s “most knowledgable about the world?”, just 2% of respondents said Bachmann, making her among the lowest-rated in the category. (Newt Gingrich dominated, with 58% saying he knows the most about the world in the GOP field.)
Just 4% of respondents said Bachmann is “most presidential” and just 8% of respondents overall said they’ll vote for Bachmann in the Jan. 3 caucus, which is maybe not surprising for the candidate so many respondents say doesn’t know very much.
Bachmann has done everything she needs to do in terms of retail campaigning, according to the poll: she’s been on the ground, and more voters there have seen her than anyone else. But it seems the more they get to know her in Iowa, the less presidential Bachmann seems.