By: Marissa Pendergrass
Quad Citians cast their ballot, hoping to push their favorite candidate into the lead at the Ames Straw Poll. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman won with 4,823 votes, Texas Rep. Ron Paul took second with 4,671 and Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty came in third with 2,293.
Quad Citians had a say in that voice at Iowa State University. Some said they were excited to put presidential hopefuls to their first test of campaign courage.
"For me it's like a candy store, where all the candy is Republican," said Scott County Republicans chairman Judy Davidson.
Hundreds of Quad Citians are taking the trip to join thousands of Iowans gearing up for 2012. Scott County Republicans said there's a good turn out this year and good weather makes it even better.
"Who cannot enjoy it? It's so fun. I just find it to be an extremely rewarding experience," Davidson said.
Straw poll volunteers said a lot of folks weren't dead set on who their next presidential candidate should be. But they said Quad Citians are making sure their voice is heard.
"Comparing the candidates yet and really and wanting to hear from someone who is talking about the issues," said Davenport supporter Melissa Gesing.
"I do think there's a lot of people who still are unsure about it because the whole field has been so great," Davidson said.
Whether it's the conversations, the entertainment or the food, Quad Citians said today the political energy is in Iowa.
"Lot of candidates always at this point. A lot of national media attention which I think is great for Iowa and the political process as a whole," Gesing said.
Candidates will get a breather to regroup and possibly restructure their campaign between now and the caucuses.