Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) the strong frontrunner in the first contest of the Republican 2012 presidential nomination race? Believe it, baby.
A new poll of likely caucus goers in Iowa by the Republican-leaning Magellan Strategies shows Bachmann with 29% of the vote. Next place finisher Mitt Romney has 16%. The Magellan field did not include Jon Huntsman, who is skipping Iowa, or the (so far) non-running Sarah Palin, Rudy Giuliani or Rick Perry.
Other polling has shown the race closer, too. The Des Moines Register poll showed Bachmann running an extremely close second to Romney last month. A recent American Research Group poll that showed Bachmann with only a slight lead over Romney in a field that did include those other names.
The Magellan numbers come on the heels of a survey by George W. Bush’s old pollster that found Bachmann well ahead of Romney it what the poll called “the most attentive voters.” That poll showed Bachmann ahead 32-18 among that group.
Bachmann’s winning big with men (she’s up 18% over Romney in the Magellan crosstabs), women (9%), seniors (10%), social conservatives (22%), fiscal conservatives (17%) and tea partiers (33%). Three percent in the Magellan survey said “other” and 24% said undecided. More women are undecided (30%) than support Bachmann (24%) and it’s the same story with seniors (27% undecided, 26% support Bachmann.)
So there’s room for the proverbial new candidate (*cough* Perry *cough*) to get in. But Bachmmentum seems to be the real deal for now.