Michele Bachmann Suspends Campaign

Michele Bachmann Iowa Straw Poll - P 2011
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AMES, IA - AUGUST 11:  Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann sits for an interview with Fox News following the Republican party debate August 11, 2011 in Ames, Iowa. Most of the eight Republican presidential hopefuls participating in tonight’s debate have spent the week campaigning across the state to prepare for the debate and Saturday's Iowa Straw Poll.

The Minnesota congresswoman announces she's leaving the GOP race.

GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann will suspend her campaign following a bleak run at the Iowa caucuses, she announced in a press conference Wednesday morning.

"I have decided to step aside," she said, flanked by husband Marcus Bachmann.

"I will forever be gratetul to the state (of Iowa), and its people," noted the conservative Minnesota congresswoman, saying that she would "continue fighting to (defeat) Obama's agenda of socialism."

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Bachmann, who placed sixth in Tuesday night's results, told supporters afterward that she would remain in the race, extoling her conservative credentials to battle President Obama.

But Bachmann lost momentum after winning Iowa's GOP straw poll last summer. In an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien ahead of the caucuses, she remained positive: "If you're looking just at the shift of the last five days, that's one thing. I have over 200 pastors that came out to endorse me. They're very influential in their communities and their congregations -- and I think that w're going to see a real surprise in the polls tonight with a depth of support that people didn't recognize was there."

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But when the results were tallied, former Gov. Mitt Romney emerged victorious, beating Senator Rick Santorum by just eight votes. Afterward, Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced he was suspending his campaign and returning to his home state. Still in the race: congressman Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich.