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DES MOINES, Iowa, July 11, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann has now taken a lead over GOP front-runners among Iowa caucus-goers, according to a recent poll.

The poll of 500 likely caucus-goers shows Bachmann has consolidated 25 percent of the vote, inching ahead of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s 21 percent. Although within the poll’s margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent, the numbers indicate Bachmann has shot ahead since her June debut at the New Hampshire GOP debate.

The poll was conducted by Voter/Consumer Research between June 26-30 on behalf of TheIowaRepublican.com.

Bachmann has very high favorability ratings in Iowa, which hosts the first presidential contest in the GOP’s primary season, and she has been stressing her Iowa roots there with voters.

According to the TIR survey, Bachmann has a colossal 76 percent favorable and 11 percent unfavorable rating. Romney is a strong second, with 66 favorable and 25 percent unfavorable.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has edged into third place at 8.8 percent support, although former Godfather’s CEO Herman Cain is right behind at 8.5 percent. Pawlenty enjoys the third highest favorability ratings behind Romney, but has struggled to gain traction in the race.

Bachmann, Pawlenty, Cain, and other GOP contenders are all gunning for the Ames straw poll on August 13, which could propel the winner into serious contention for the GOP presidential nomination ahead of the Iowa caucuses.

Romney has opted out of the Ames poll, instead focusing his resources on New Hampshire, the first GOP primary contest and the state won by Sen. John McCain of Arizona in 2008. McCain went on to become the GOP nominee, losing to now President Barack Obama.

Winning Iowa helped put presidential candidate Mike Huckabee into contention with Romney and McCain in 2008, but he was unable to sustain the momentum with his cash-strapped campaign.

For her part, Bachmann has been emphasizing her strong constitutional Tea Party principles, tying them into social conservative concerns ahead of the Ames poll.

In a recent column published for the Daily Caller, Bachmann stated that her “constitutional conservatism” is like a three-legged stool consisting of “peace-through-strength conservatives,” “fiscal and economic conservatives,” and “social conservatives — the values voters.”

“My candidacy is based on the unity of the conservative movement — because each leg of the stool is vital,” she wrote.

She also tied her limited government philosophy to pro-life concerns.

“A government that fails to exercise self-control and respect its own boundaries is a threat to the rights and liberties of its citizens. Among those rights is the right to life,” said Bachmann. “I believe we must restore and respect the dignity of life for all, the born and unborn. As we read in the Declaration of Independence, we are endowed by our Creator with rights, starting with the right to life.”

The full TIR poll results and analysis can be found here.

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