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Afternoon Fix: Bachmann beats Romney in new Iowa poll

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Michele Bachmann is up in a new poll, Minnesota leaders haven’t met since Thursday, George LeMieux is winning the money race and Josh Mandel once clapped for Al Gore.

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WHAT YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:

* A poll from TheIowaRepublican.com (a site run by former Iowa GOP Political Director Craig Robinson) finds Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) taking the lead over former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, 25 percent to 21 percent. Bachmann’s favorability is also ten points higher than Romney’s. Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and Cain are tied at nine percent. Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman, who is skipping Iowa altogether, came in with one percent.

* Herman Cain’s 1996 gospel album, “Sunday Morning,” is now on the web. The radio host and presidential candidate is known for his “golden voice,” and according to Cain communications director Ellen Carmichael, “people may or may not be ‘testifying’ in the office right now, listening to boss's music.” Warning: It’s a little synth-heavy.

* South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian, on a Democratic National Committee conference call today, had this to say about Huntsman: “Here's a guy who had his lips firmly planted on the president's butt three months ago, and now is speaking ill ... out of those same lips. Can you trust a guy who turns this quickly?” He added, “I don't think the DNC's going to ask me to do these anymore,” but presumably with Harpootlian they knew what they were in for.

* Likely Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel (R) cheered on then-presidential candidate Al Gore at a 2000 rally, as shown in a video helpfully supplied to reporters by primary rival Kevin Coughlin. Mandel responded that he was never a supporter of Gore, and that as student body president he had to make nice with all visiting politicians. Obviously Mandel, currently Ohio’s state treasurer, wouldn’t be the first political candidate to change his political views. The 33-year-old Iraq veteran was in college at the time.

WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T MISS:

* Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) has called on Republican legislative leaders to come back to the negotiating table, saying hasn't spoken to the Speaker of the Minnesota House or the Senate Majority Leader since last Thursday. It’s been eleven days since the state government shut down, with the divided government unable to agree on how to close a $5 billion budget gap.

* In case you forgot that Rudy Giuliani is still thinking about running for president, his New Hampshire spokesman says the former New York City mayor will decide “very soon.” Giuliani will visit New Hampshire this Thursday and Friday to meet with some interest groups; he plans to make up his mind soon after.

* California House candidate and Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (D) has lost her mother, the day before the special election for the seat vacated by former Rep. Jane Harman (D). Ramona Hahn, the wife of the late county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn and mother of both the councilwoman and both former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, was 86 years old. “We understand that Janice needs to be with her family, but the campaign will move forward — as her mother would have wanted,” Hahn’s campaign said in a statement. “She was looking forward to seeing her daughter sworn in as the next Congresswoman of the 36th District. We will work very hard to make that dream a reality.”

*Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) is headed to Aspen, Colorado next week for a two-day summit with about 200 influential Republican donors at the quarterly meeting of the Republican Governors’ Association Executive Roundtable. Perry is the new RGA chairman, so it’s not surprising that he’s attending. But it also gives the potential presidential candidate a chance to meet with top GOP benefactors, many of whom are unaffiliated.

* Romney is in Portland, Oregon for a fundraiser, but the former Massachusetts governor is keeping a low profile. He has no plans to appear publicly or speak to the news media, and the Oregonian wasn’t able to get any information from the campaign. After the fundraiser Romney heads to Seattle to raise money at the home of John Connors, a former Microsoft executive.

* The surprise winner in the second quarter Florida fundraising battle between three GOP Senate candidates — former Sen. George LeMieux, who took in over $950,000 in the past three months. LeMieux was appointed to the Senate in 2009 by then-Gov. Charlie Crist (R) as a placeholder, and that connection had led most observers to dismiss him in favor of state Senate President Mike Haridopolos or former state Rep. Adam Hasner in the race to take on Sen. Bill Nelson (D). But this fundraising haul could earn LeMieux a little more attention. Haridopolos raised $900,000 since April; Hasner raised $560,000. Details on each candidate’s haul won’t be available until Friday.

THE FIX MIX:

Heist of the century.

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With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake

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