- (Photo: Reuters/Mary Ann Chastain)
It was just recently, on Aug. 13, that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann surprised many with her first place finish in the Iowa straw poll, propelling her to the front of the GOP presidential race. However, two months later it appears that the same state that paraded her to the front of the line may be causing her campaign to come to a screeching halt.
Iowa has eaten up a lot of Bachmann’s campaign funds and many report that the congresswoman is running out of money. The money was used to travel to the Iowa cities of Waterloo, Des Moines, Ames and Cedar Rapids. She hasn’t even touched northwest Iowa and other parts of the state, something that many political pundits criticize, saying she needs to spend time in more rural parts.
This lack of attention may have fostered her drop in the polls in Iowa, mirroring her drop nationally. She has dropped to fourth place in the Iowa Independent’s Power Rankings, behind Rick Perry, Ron Paul and Mitt Romney. On the national front, President Obama leads Bachmann in a hypothetical match-up by 19 percentage points. Even more bad news came for the congresswoman when Fox News released a recent survey that puts Bachmann’s support at just 3 percent, down drastically from her 15 percent support in July.
The last day of the third fundraising quarter ended on Sept. 30, however, Bachmann’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart told CBS that the campaign will not be releasing funding numbers until the filings are due to become public at the end of next month. Another unnamed source told CBS that Bachmann does not like to ask for money and that “she should have been focusing on big donors about three months ago.” However, according to the source, Bachmann has only cultivated low-dollar donors with direct mailings, which has hurt her.
An anonymous source told the New York Post the financial situation for Bachmann is so dire that that a computer vendor has threatened to shut off the power at her campaign offices for failure to pay bills.
These financial reports are a far cry from the beginning of the campaign in which Bachmann was named a powerful fundraiser. However, trouble began brewing around the second fundraising quarter when she earned a mere $4.2 million, in contrast to Mitt Romney’s $18.25 million. It is reported that half of the $4.2 million dollars came from her congressional account.
Exactly how much does Bachmann need in order to continue in the race? Republican strategist Scott Reed told the Minnesota Public Radio that she needs at least $6 million to $7 million to “show the finance world that she's serious and she can carry on."
Despite low poll rankings and a small budget, Bachmann told Fox talk show host Bill O’Reilly that she can definitely turn things around. After O’Reilly pointed out her low numbers after the last GOP debate, Bachmann insisted that in actuality her support is higher and that “it takes time sometimes for these (poll) numbers to catch up.”
“We're doing exactly what we need to be doing. We're here in Iowa. We're meeting with people. And, of course, [Iowa] is where it will all begin after Christmas."
Bachmann's campaign did not return phone calls from The Christian Post.