WEST DES MOINES – Despite a shaky end to her Iowa campaign, GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann predicted “a big surprise” Tuesday night when Iowa Republicans finally get their say on who should be the party’s 2012 nominee to face Democrat Barack Obama this fall.
“I think we’re going to surprise a lot of people,” said Bachmann, a Waterloo native and social conservative who is a U.S. representative from Minnesota and serves on the House Intelligence Committee, which she believes gives her an edge on national security and foreign policy issues.
“I think it will be a miracle,” Bachmann said in an interview aboard her campaign bus. “If you look at the current polling data, I think we’re going to see a miracle. I believe in miracles and the One who sends them, and so we are very confident about tomorrow.”
Much of that confidence is rooted in the endorsement of some 200 Iowa pastors who she expects will have a significant influence in delivering members of their congregations and communities to GOP caucus precincts to speak on her behalf and cast ballots for her candidacy, she said.
She’s hoping that support and the backing she received in visiting all 99 Iowa counties can offset the backing that GOP rivals Rick Santorum, Rick Perry and Ron Paul are expected to poll from the party’s conservative bloc.
“I believe I best represent Iowans’ values,” Bachmann said.
Recent public-opinion polls have had Bachmann near or at the bottom of the GOP field in Iowa, despite being the first woman to win the party’s Ames straw poll last summer. Her campaign lost two top Iowa organizers recently but the Minnesota congresswoman gave no indication Monday she felt her candidacy was in trouble.
“The election won’t be over as of Iowa. It’s going to go on. We’ve bought our tickets to South Carolina, so we’re going on and beyond,” she said during an MSNBC-TV appearance. “I’m intending to be the next president of the United States. This isn’t over. We’re not here for a post mortem. I plan to continue to launch our campaign out of Iowa.”
Bachmann greeted Iowans while touring several businesses in West Des Moines Valley Junction area on Monday afternoon and took time to dance with some college and high school students who waved Bachmann signs while her touring bus blared Train’s “Hey Soul Sister.”
The congresswoman said she believes a number of Iowa votes came her way after two December debates in Iowa where she warned about the threat of a “nuclear Iran” and “took it to” Paul over his foreign policy views that she views as “dangerous.”
“It was like an electric light switch was flipped on after the after the Iowa debates,” she said.
“I have the greatest and deepest level of enthusiasm of supporters. My supporters are going to come out. We’re praying for good weather but whatever the conditions, they are going to make it to their caucuses because they are committed,” Bachmann said.
“Some candidates might have a thin veneer of support. It may look like that in the polls,” she added. “I actually think we’re going to see a big surprise happen here in Iowa.”