Poll shows surge for Michele Bachmann in New Hampshire

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is surging in the New Hampshire primary according to multiple polls. The growing consensus is that the congressional Tea Party leader is becoming a credible contender for the GOP presidential nomination.

According to a poll released today by the Democratic Public Policy Polling, Bachmann currently has 18 percent of the vote among Republicans, second only to Mitt Romney’s 25 percent. But Romney, the former governor of neighboring Massachusetts and a frequent visitor to the state, has home-court advantage.

Bachmann has gained 14 points in PPP’s polling over the last three months, partly due to a surprisingly strong debate performance in the state.

Sarah Palin is polling third in N.H. at 11 percent, suggesting Bachmann may have more far-right votes available to her campaign. The rest of the GOP field is polling single digits: Ron Paul is at 9 percent, Rick Perry and Herman Cain are each at 7 percent, Jon Huntsman and Tim Pawlenty are at 6 percent, and Newt Gingrich is at 4 percent.

Bachmann is a fundamentalist Christian who opposes the teaching of evolution as well as reproductive choice and gay rights. Her husband Marcus Bachmann runs a “Christian counseling” practice that tries to “save” gay people from homosexuality.

Marcus Bachmann, who has unusually effeminate mannerisms, has come under ridicule in recent days after a candid video of him was posted on gay websites. Michele Bachmann is frequently lambasted by the fact-checkers at PolitiFact for her glaring misstatements on everything from basic American history to the economy.

When she announced her candidacy in Waterloo, Iowa, Bachmann said she was filled with the spirit of its native son John Wayne. The city is actually home to serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Bachmann is expected to easily win the Iowa Republican caucuses, which are dominated by right-wing church groups. According to most scenarios, the win will give Bachmann momentum going into New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary next February.

Democrats are delighted by Bachmann’s sudden political ascendency and mainstream Republicans are terrified.

Photo: Michele McGaughey