Early Iowa poll: Bachmann near top; Pawlenty near bottom 

If former-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to win the Republican nomination by doing well in the Iowa Caucus, the Des Moines Register‘s first poll of the GOP field shows he has a lot of ground to make up.

Former-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney narrowly took the top spot in the poll with 23%. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., came in second with 22%. Former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain followed with 10% and former Speaker Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, tied for fourth with 7%. Pawlenty, former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman brought up the rear with 6%, 4%, and 2% respectively.

Not only is Pawlenty mired in third-to-last after significant investments in the state, but the Register also reports that many of Romney’s supporters prefer Bachmann as their second choice:

Among those who pick Romney as their first choice, only 15 percent choose Pawlenty as their second choice. Bachmann would get 26 percent of that Romney vote.

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