Can Michele Bachmann Turn Enthusiasm Into Votes?

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann will kick off her campaign with an event in Waterloo, Iowa next Monday. Bachmann was born in Waterloo and spent the early years of her life in Iowa.

Bachmann, who proclaimed via teleconference that she was going to to announce and then officially announced in a spotlight and headline grabbing moment during the New Hampshire debate. At the debate she performed well, in part because of the low bar the mainstream media had set for her by underestimating her, and effectively introduced herself to the general electorate.

After her announcement, Bachmann will go to New Hampshire and then to South Carolina.

In South Carolina, she will have events in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Lexington, and Greenville.

She will cap her South Carolina visit by hosting a townhall at Winthrop University in Rock Hill.

Her events schedule shows that the Bachmann camp believes that she will appeal to many conservatives and Tea Party voters in Iowa and South Carolina.

And on a conference call with Iowa reporters, which the Des Moines Register reported, Bachmann confirmed that she would participate in the Ames Straw Poll in August.

Bachmann has a lot of enthusiastic supporters and the potential to build momentum.

Her challenge going forward will be discipline, amassing proper operatives, and jumping over the expectations at the straw poll and in the Iowa caucuses that are going to be sky high for the “hometown” candidate from Waterloo.

The Ames Straw Poll will be the first test of whether Bachmann can turn energy and excitement into actual, tangible votes.

In the coming months, Bachmann may have competition for a similar set of conservative voters from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Alaska Gov. and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, both of whom are indicating that they have a fifty-percent chance of entering the presidential contest.