After a campaign performance that catapulted her from the fringe of the Republican presidential push to center stage, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minnesota, has surged to first place in a new Zogby poll of 2012 GOP presidential candidates.
Bachmann garnered 24% of the vote from prospective primary voters, while here-to-fore frontrunner Mitt Romney registered 15%. However, those same voters also argued Romney still has the upperhand: 37% of voters said they thought Romney would win the nomination compared to 7% for Bachmann, signaling that people still view her as something of a longshot.
Although Bachmann announced her intention to run during last week's Republican presidential debate, she will formally declare her candidacy on Monday in the early voting caucus of Iowa. It will be her first time campaigning there.
Bachmann has been working recently to broadcast her personal narrative, including her time working as a tax attorney and the fact that she took in 23 children as a foster parent. That role grew out of her disillusionment with public schools and helped to inform her political beliefs, according to a report in the New York Times.
The Minnesota congresswoman's performance in the June 13 debate earned her praise from the punditocracy, with the Washington Post's Ezra Klein writing that her easy, fluent discussion of policy points made her appear to be one of the primary's clear heavyweights.