""We know that when Michele is in Iowa, she wins," said Bachmann's Iowa campaign chairman, Kent Sorenson. "If she's here, she'll win Iowa."
That explains why, starting this weekend, Bachmann plans to campaign almost exclusively in the state as she tries to reassert herself in a race that's become a two-candidate contest between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
She's in a far different position than she was earlier this summer when she entered the race and seemingly overnight began hovering atop state and national public opinion polls. In August, she rode that wave of popularity to an Iowa straw poll victory. But that same day, Perry became a candidate. He quickly filled the role of the GOP field's insurgent outsider, stalled Bachmann's momentum and infringed on her base of support.
Since then, Bachmann has faced criticism from voters and activists for appearing too scripted. She's also shuffled her top campaign leadership. And she found herself eclipsed in Wednesday's debate in California after figuring prominently in previous ones and winning praise for her poise.
Her newfound strategy calls for an intense focus on Iowa, where she already has a strong organization and a natural base of support with evangelical Republicans, home-school advocates and tea partyers.
The hope among Bachmann advisers is that an Iowa victory could propel her to the South Carolina primary, where Republican voters resemble Iowa's heavy segment of Christian conservatives. She spent a chunk of the past month in the state, as well as in Florida, courting tea party activists and other conservatives."