Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert Monday explained Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann’s formula for winning the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa.

Forty busses brought Bachmann supporters to Ames Saturday. The air conditioned tent, 2,500 pounds of barbecued pork and brisket, country music star Randy Travis and a petting zoo kept them there.

“Of course at a Bachmann petting zoo, you are only allowed to pet animals of the opposite sex,” Colbert joked.

But the real secret to getting 4,828 votes for the win was that the candidate bought 6,000 $30 ballots for $180,000 and passed them out to supporers.

“Bachmann got a commanding 80 percent of the votes she paid for,” Colbert observed. “I say this proves she could win the general election assuming she can get 50 million voters into a field, pack them with barbecue and let their children pet Randy Travis.”

Watch this video from Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, broadcast Aug. 15, 2011.