Published: Jun 27, 2011 2:27 PM EDT
Updated: Jun 27, 2011 10:12 AM EDT

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann is officially plowing into the presidential race with a conservative and often freewheeling message honed to the Republican base.

The congresswoman with deep tea party appeal has returned to her native Iowa for Monday's campaign kickoff. A new poll predicts she'll be a 2012 force in the state that holds the leadoff caucuses.

Bachmann starts her campaign with many wondering if the edgy side that turned her into a conservative star will be the one she shows on the presidential campaign trail. Her say-anything-and-everything approach has earned her a loyal following but also plenty of guff from detractors.

After the Iowa event, Bachmann planned stops in New Hampshire and South Carolina - states that will help winnow the field with early primaries next year.

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