Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann won the 2011 Iowa straw poll, a test vote for Iowa’s 2012 presidential caucuses.

The straw poll tests the waters for Republicans five months before the primary season kicks off.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul came in second, a strong mainstream showing for Paul, who tends to carry libertarian votes.

Things were shaken on the Republican side when Texas Governor Rick Perry stepped in the ring saying “it’s time to get America working again.”

But Perry could not match Bachmann’s thunder in Iowa.

Former Massachusetts governor and businessman Mitt Romney, who remains the GOP front-runner, was also on the ballot, as was former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, though they did not actively compete for straw poll votes.

Sarah Palin, who visited the Iowa State Fair on Friday, was not on the ballot.

The straw poll can show an emerging trend or it could show nothing. In 2008 Romney won the poll, but his victory was overshadowed by surprising second-place finisher Mike Huckabee. John McCain did not compete in the Iowa straw poll in 2007.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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