(Photo: Reuters/Mary Ann Chastain)
For months Michele Bachmann was seen as the rising star of the GOP candidates. On Aug. 13 she shook up the political world when she emerged as the winner of the Iowa straw poll. This victory was thought to propel her as an established top-tier candidate.
But it was not to be. Governor Rick Perry announced on that same day that he would be making a bid for the presidency, almost immediately halting any momentum Bachmann had gained in Iowa.
Perry shot to the front of the race, alongside Mitt Romney, and Bachmann faded alongside Ron Paul, who is considered to be a long-shot for the White House.
The numbers reflect her lagging campaign. Bachmann has slipped in the Washington Post-ABC News poll which listed her at 12 percent in July to just six percent this week. One of her weaknesses is that she is seen as too polarizing among the general population. Many of her supporters, including Tea Party members, fear that she won’t be able to garner enough support to win against Obama in the general election. Washington Post-ABC News Poll records that Perry is seen as the GOP candidate having the best chance of beating the President, Romney comes in second, and Bachmann falls to fourth behind Palin and Gingrich. Palin has not announced an entry into the race.
In Wednesday’s debate, Bachmann had the chance to regain momentum, however, to many pundits she failed to do just that. Perry and Romney stole the spotlight with their back and forth sparring and Bachmann failed to make any memorable one liners.
"I think the bottom line is, there was enough beating up of each other tonight [between Romney and Perry] that we didn't have to get in," said Ed Rollins, Bachmann’s campaign manager, referring to Bachmann’s rather quiet debate.
"You know, never interrupt your enemy when they're in the process of destroying themselves is an old adage," he said as quoted by CBS News.
Bachmann attempted to regain control by attacking Obama’s jobs speech Thursday night. There was no official GOP response.
She said that Obama’s estimated $447 billion jobs plan would only expand government spending, despite his claim that the proposals would be paid for.
She continued in criticizing Obama saying that his proposal to extend the payroll tax cut would drain more funds from the Social Security fund and harm senior citizens.
“This is a speech that we got, and the Congressional Budget Office has said it is impossible for them to score a speech,” she said. “So we don’t know the details, but I’m clearly disappointed by what I heard tonight.”
Bachmann’s campaign has announced it plans to spend the majority of its time in Iowa, bypassing other early voting states. This is probably the best strategy for her as without an Iowa win, her campaign is likely over.
Many speculate that unless Perry’s campaign drastically loses momentum, Bachmann’s shot at getting back into the top-tier amongst GOP candidates is a long one.