The Washington Post

Michele Bachmann, by the numbers

Rep. Michele Bachmann is retiring after four terms, but in that time she made more news than most House members make in a lifetime.

Below, we take a look at the Minnesota Republican's political career, by the numbers.

8: The number of years she will have served in the House. Bachmann was first elected in 2006 after Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn.) opted to run (unsuccessfully) for Senate.

4,296: The number of votes Bachmann won reelection by in 2012, out of more than 350,000 cast. Bachmann's 1.2-point victory was among the smallest in the country, even as GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney carried her strongly conservative district by 15 points.

$15 million: The amount of money Bachmann raised for her 2012 reelection campaign, making her easily the best fundraiser among vulnerable House members.

$10.5 million: The amount Bachmann raised for her presidential campaign -- an effort that never gained the fundraising steam of her House campaign.

4,823: The number of votes Bachmann received in the 2011 Iowa Straw Poll, out of less than 17,000 votes. The total earned her a narrow victory over then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

6,046: The number of votes Bachmann got six months later in the actual Iowa caucuses, out of more than 120,000 cast. She finished sixth, and her poor showing has prompted calls for an end to the Iowa Straw Poll, which many argue is obsolete.

28: The number of children Bachmann has said she's raised, including 23 foster children. The claim caused a stir during her presidential campaign because some of the foster children were in her care for only short periods.

2: The number of political parties Bachmann has associated herself with. She grew up in a Democratic family but became a Republican early in adulthood. She says she realized she was no longer a Democrat while reading a Gore Vidal book.

59: The number of Bachmann's claims that Politifact has evaluated. Of those, 36 percent were rated as "false," while 25 percent were rated as "pants on fire." Bachmann has also been fact-checked many times over by The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler, who has repeatedly given her Four Pinocchios -- including four times already this year and as recently as last weekend.

3: The number of legal matters that Bachmann is facing, including investigations by the House ethics committee and the FBI over the finances of her presidential campaign and political action committee. Separately, Bachmann has reportedly been settling a matter in which her presidential campaign was accused of stealing a list of home-school families.

5: The number of chiefs of staff Bachmann employed during her first four years in office -- one of the highest turnover rates among members of Congress. Some of those former chiefs have distanced themselves from Bachmann. During the congresswoman's 2012 presidential bid, former chief of staff Ron Carey wrote an op-ed supporting former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty and saying that Bachmann wasn't up to the job. "She is a faithful conservative with great oratory skills, but without any leadership experience or real results from her years in office," Carey wrote. "She is not prepared to assume the White House in 2013."

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Next Story
Chris Cillizza · May 29, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.