The Big Story Blog

Iowa: Bachmann ends White House bid

Posted at 10:51 AM on January 4, 2012 by Paul Tosto
Filed under: Iowa, Politics

Here's the complete story on Michele Bachmann ending her presidential campaign, from MPR News reporters Mark Zdechlik, Catharine Richert, Elizabeth Dunbar.

Des Moines, Iowa -- Rep. Michele Bachmann announced Wednesday morning that she is suspending her bid for the White House.

"I have decided to stand aside," she said at a packed news conference Wednesday morning in West Des Moines, Iowa, at the Marriott Hotel. "Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice."

In the same room the night before, Bachmann had been introduced as the next president of the United States.

Bachmann finished last in the Iowa caucus on Tuesday among the GOP presidential candidates who had campaigned there.

Campaign manager Keith Nahigan said he and Bachmann discussed multiple options after last night's disappointing finish, including suspending the campaign. But he said he hadn't spoken to Bachmann Wednesday morning and didn't know what she decided before her morning announcement.

She had been predicting a caucus "miracle," saying Iowans would "come home" to her. But the reality of the caucus returns showed no such miracle. Bachmann garnered just 5 percent of the vote statewide and didn't win a single county.

After the caucus, analysts predicted it would be tough for Bachmann to do any better in the New Hampshire or South Carolina primaries.

"She spent in inordinate amount of time in Iowa. At one time she was the front-runner. She won the Iowa Straw Poll back in August. But that was August. In January she ran basically dead-last," said Peter Brown, Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The notion that the voters of New Hampshire or South Carolina or Florida will feel much differently is not one likely to occur."

As news reports announced Bachmann would suspend her campaign, other analysts said they weren't surprised.

"It seemed to me to be pretty much inevitable," Steven Shier, a political science professor at Carleton College, told MPR's Midmorning.

Shier said Bachmann's disappointing finish in Iowa would have made it difficult for her to raise the money needed to move forward. "[Candidates] leave the race because they don't have the money to continue, and that is certainly Michele Bachmann's situation," he said.

Bachmann has not said whether she will run for reelection in Minnesota's 6th Congressional District.


About Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto

Paul Tosto writes the Big Story Blog for MPR News. He joined the newsroom in 2008 after more than 20 years reporting on education, politics and the economy for news wires and newspapers across the country.