Bachmann Ends Campaign After Disappointing Iowa Finish

BY Larisa Epatko  January 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM EDT

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann suspended her campaign Wednesday after coming in sixth in the Iowa caucuses — the first test of the 2012 GOP presidential field. “The people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside,” she said at a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bachmann said she was motivated to run after the passage of President Obama’s health care bill, which “endangered the very survival of the United States,” she said. “I will continue to fight the president’s agenda of socialism.”

“Bachmann had a spectacular political slide, having gone from a high in August of becoming the first woman to ever win the Ames Straw Poll to coming in sixth despite focusing her efforts in the Hawkeye State for months,” NewsHour political editor Christina Bellantoni said.

She likely suspended her campaign due to a lack of money and grassroots support that would have propelled her through the next contests, Bellantoni said. “Bachmann has shed numerous campaign aides over the course of the contest. Suspending the campaign allows her to collect her thoughts and regroup for seeking re-election to her House seat in Minnesota.”

On the trail, Bachmann often told supporters that she was most like Rick Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator who took second place in Iowa, and they both attracted evangelical voters, noted Bellantoni. “Her endorsement could be pivotal for Sen. Rick Santorum as he tries to quickly build up a national infrastructure.”

The congresswoman received 5 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses, in which Mitt Romney eked out a win. (View all of the results in Iowa on our map. Watch Bachmann’s speech on Tuesday night.)

View our Morning Line recap of the Iowa caucuses, and stay tuned for more analysis on Wednesday’s NewsHour.