It's a message engraved on the tablets of every political-campaign guru: thou shalt not take the Iowa straw poll too seriously. Yet when Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann won the central political event of the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 13, it was an upset that shook the Republican presidential race. With support appearing to tilt toward Bachmann's brand of fiery Tea Party conservatism, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race and Bachmann was catapulted into the top tier of candidates. But her supremacy proved short-lived. In August, Texas Governor Rick Perry entered the race as a presumptive front runner, only to tank in the polls a few weeks later. By November, the ascendant campaign of Herman Cain had become mired in accusations of sexual harassment, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich began his own climb. By then, of course, Bachmann was an afterthought polling at just 5% among Republicans in a late-November Gallup poll. For the record, the Iowa poll, which Bachmann won with 4,823 votes, has successfully predicted the winner of the presidency just once in its 32 years a streak unlikely to change in the 2012 election.