Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann says she has a “strong level of support in Iowa” despite recent polls which indicate Texas Governor Rick Perry has surged to the lead here.

“There’s always changes when you have new candidates come in,” Bachmann says. “This certainly happened in Iowa the last go around. Fred Thompson came into the race very late. He came in number one, in that he had about 31 percent support…People thought that Fred Thompson was going to be the Republican nominee…but that isn’t who our nominee was.”

Bachmann won the Iowa Republican Party’s Straw Poll in Ames on August 13. Perry arrived in Iowa the next day as he launched his campaign. Bachmann says she has been “holding the line” with supporters who backed her in the Straw Poll and signing up new supporters since then.

“I’ve demonstrated something that the other candidates haven’t. That’s a level of consistency as a conservative,” she says. “I never supported the government take-over of health care, but the other two leading candidates have. I did not support the stimulus bill…I did not support the bail-out and we have other leading candidates who have, so there is a strong mark of demarcation between us.” 

Bachmann says those differences will be on display during next week’s CNN/Tea Party Express debate in Florida.  This weekend, though, Bachmann will be in Iowa, tailgating before the Iowa/Iowa State football game in Ames tomorrow. Bachmann says she has “something in common” with the Cyclones.

“I’ve won in Ames and so have the Cyclones,” Bachmann says, “so I look forward to being there will all of my friends.” Bachmann will be in state Senator Jack Whitver’s tent. Whitver is a former wide receiver for the Cyclones.

Bachmann made her comments during an interview with Radio Iowa.