Iowa traditionally has the nation's first caucus -- similar to a primary -- to help pick presidential nominees. So U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota surely is rejoicing that she topped the field of Republican presidential aspirants in Iowa's much-watched straw poll on Saturday, a few months prior to the caucus.
The conservative congresswoman got 29 percent of the votes in the poll, with Rep. Ron Paul of Texas hot on her heels with 28 percent and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty a distant third, with only 14 percent. That prompted Pawlenty to drop out.
Other prominent Republicans hoping to live in the White House include Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and perhaps Sarah Palin. But the hopes of some will undoubtedly grow dim in coming weeks as perhaps just two or three prove themselves able to rev up voters.