Michele Bachmann has taken a slight lead over Mitt Romney in Iowa according to a new poll of likely GOP caucusgoers.
The survey, commissioned by the Iowa Republican, found 25 percent of likely caucusgoers favor Bachmann while 21 percent support Romney. The poll was conducted between June 26 and June 30--just days after the Minnesota congresswoman formally announced her 2012 bid in a campaign rally in Waterloo, Iowa.
The former Massachusetts governor has spent little time in Iowa. He won't compete in next month's Iowa Straw Poll and has signaled he'll focus more on New Hampshire and other key early primary states rather than Iowa heading into next year's elections. Bachmann, on the other hand, has spent most of her early campaign politicking in the state and last week released a TV ad aimed at boosting her chances at next month's straw poll.
Bachmann holds a significant lead over candidates actually focusing on the state, including Tim Pawlenty--who is tied with Herman Cain, with roughly 9 percent support among likely caucusgoers. That's actually a slight improvement for Pawlenty, who has struggled to gain traction in the state in spite of heavily campaigning there in recent months.
According to the poll, 6 percent of caucusgoers support Ron Paul, 4 percent were for Newt Gingrich, and Jon Huntsman received 1 percent support.
But Bachmann appears to be the candidate to beat at the moment. According to the poll, 76 percent of caucusgoers view her "favorably." That's a 10 point lead over Romney and 16 percent more than Pawlenty. The tea party favorite also holds a major lead among the "most attentive" voters—32 percent, compared to Romney's 18 percent and Pawlenty's 8 percent.
(Photo of Bachmann: Andy Dunaway/AP)