A weekend event highlights the difficulties Michele Bachmann and the rest of the Republican presidential candidates have in getting would-be supporters to attend next month’s “Straw Poll” in Ames.
Bachmann spoke Sunday at the “New Life Community Church” in Marion. Dave Lammers of Marion is a Bachmann fan, but he’s not ready to say he’ll go to the Straw Poll. “I would say between maybe and definitely,” Lammers said. “Somewhere in there.”
Brian Hagerman is one of the pastors at the church where Bachmann spoke. He’s a registered voter who does cast ballots in his local precinct at election time, but as for that Straw Poll in Ames: “Well, I’ve been invited by everybody under the sun that’s been calling my house. I’ve not gone before.”
Hagerman says several campaigns are courting him with telephone surveys and direct calls, hoping to convince him to make the two-hour drive to Ames on August 13.
Bachmann is lowering expectation, casting herself as the “underdog” in the race because she formally entered the race in June.
“We’ve got a wonderful response on the ground,” Bachmann said recently during an interview with Radio Iowa. “Now we just need to translate that into people actually coming and being a part of the Straw Poll.”
Three presidential candidates are campaigning in Iowa today. Bachmann will be holding town hall meetings this afternoon in Manchester and Maquoketa. Texas Congressman Ron Paul will speak in Ames this morning and in Cedar Rapids this afternoon. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty is scheduled to make public appearances in Davenport, Muscatine and Mount Pleasant.