There was a lot of skepticism about how seriously Michelle Bachmann's campaign would be taken by both the media and voters, especially given her sometimes divisive comments on political and social issues. However, she has proved to be a strong contender for the GOP nomination for President in Iowa, one of the key states for Republicans.
The newest Des Moines Register poll shows former governor of Massachusetts Mitt Romney leading the pack at 23 percent of the vote, with Bachmann right behind at 22 percent. Herman Cain falls into third place at 10 percent, while Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty and Ron Paul dangle at the 7 percent line or lower.
While Pawlenty is still considered to be a viable candidate by many, the latest data is bad news for him, according to MSNBC. If he can't get his numbers back up with an advertising campaign, he may be left in the dust.
Romney is a strong favorite in New Hampshire and, as the poll showed, a likely competitor in Iowa as well.
Bachmann seems to be tempering her tone on key topics as her campaign begins. In her reaction to New York City's passing of the gay marriage law, she stated that it was the right of each state to choose legislation.
"In New York state, they have passed the law at the state legislative level and, under the 10th amendment, the states have the right to set the laws that they want to set," she told Fox News' Chris Wallace. "That is up to the people of New York. I think that it’s best to allow the people to decide on this issue."
The statement seems to be a complete reversal of Bachmann's radical speech in Iowa two months ago, when Politico reports she claimed that her faith was motivating her to push for a ballot that would criminalize same-sex marriage.