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Michele Bachmann is set to make strong Florida showing

Michele Bachmann’s formal announcement of her candidacy for president was met with this response from Florida tea partiers: Amen.

The Minnesota Republican congresswoman, who officially launched her campaign in Iowa, has been a staunch tea-party standard bearer since the birth of the movement two years ago and now it all appears to be paying off.

Bachmann is tied with national Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney in the Iowa caucuses and she’s running in second place in Florida, according to new polls that show her well ahead of Republicans Tim Pawlenty and Jon Huntsman.

“None of the guys are really exciting. I’m excited now,” said Apryl Marie Fogel, a tea party organizer from Melbourne and Republican consultant. “She has charm, but she’s also tough,” Fogel said. “And she’s going after the grassroots of the party.”

In her speech Monday in Waterloo, Iowa – her childhood hometown – Bachmann harkened back to the ideals that launched the original Boston tea party.

“I want my candidacy for the presidency of the United States to stand for a moment when we the people stand once again for the independence from a government that has gotten too big and spends too much and has taken away too much of our liberties,” Bachmann said.

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