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Bachmann and Pawlenty in Iowa: A Contrast in Styles

By Erin McPike - August 10, 2011

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“I love you! I love you all! Come out to Ames!” Bachmann yelled. “We’re going to have Randy Travis playing in our tent,” she said, referencing the country star. “We’re going to win!”

That seemed to work.

For his part, Pawlenty, asked politely for votes and support at the straw poll, and what he got in return was a mild endorsement of his spirit.

Mike Pedersen, a Humboldt resident and a Republican, said he was hands-down for Bachmann over Pawlenty because “she had much more to say.” He added, “She seems much more electable,” explaining was that she had given more detail on what the Obama administration had done wrong.

“It’s going to take a woman to unseat the male, domineering, run-of-the-mill politicians, so-to-speak,” he said. “This country is ready for a woman.”

Lonnie Kirchhoff, another Humboldt resident who got to see both candidates on Tuesday, put it this way: “There’s nothing wrong with [Pawlenty].” But, he said, “I’m going to cast my vote for Michele.”

By and large, voters who saw the two candidates here suggested that she communicated better and gave better details.

Jay Bancroft said he’s still completely undecided about whom he’ll support.

“I think he spoke from the heart,” he said of Pawlenty. Still, he noted, Bachmann “gave more statistics and is very exciting.”

And Ann Wittrock put it this way: “I want to hear what the plan is rather than ‘I have a plan.’” She praised Pawlenty for being “grounded” but is leaning toward a Bachmann vote. “Bottom line,” she said, “I heard more of her plan.” 

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Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at emcpike@realclearpolitics.com. Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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