Bachmann Loses Tea Party-Backed Iowa Campaign Co-chairman
Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was dealt a body blow by her Tea Party-backed Iowa co-chairman Wednesday, when he abruptly resigned to join Ron Paul’s rival campaign, The Associated Press reports.
Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson gave his endorsement to the Texas congressman hours after appearing with Bachmann at an afternoon stop on her 99-county tour of the Hawkeye State. Sorenson did not speak at Bachmann’s event, citing recent dental work. The AP reports that Sorenson said he resigned from Bachmann’s campaign to join the most conservative of the top-tier candidates.
The news comes on a day when the Minnesota congresswoman saw eroding support among her evangelical base as two prominent Iowa ministers – Rev. Cary Gordon of Sioux City and Rev. Albert Calloway of Des Moines – said that an effort is under way in the evangelical movement to persuade either Rick Santorum or Michele Bachmann to consider dropping out in order to keep their historically influential voting bloc from splintering in the upcoming Jan. 3 caucuses.
Bachmann told a group of reporters traveling with her in Iowa that she wasn’t quitting and planned to announce additional clergy who were supporting her campaign.
“The pastors who have endorsed my campaign want to see me as the next president of the United States,” Bachmann said.
A new CNN/Time poll shows Michele Bachmann in sixth place with support from 9 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers. Mitt Romney holds the top spot at 25 percent, followed by Ron Paul with 22 percent. Rick Santorum – after two years of patiently campaigning in all of Iowa’s 99 counties – surged into third place with 16 percent. Newt Gingrich suffered a 19 point slide from a month ago, and now claims fourth place at 14 percent. Rick Perry is just ahead of Bachmann in fifth place at 11 percent.
However, the results need to be taken with a grain of salt. The margin of error in this poll is plus- or minus-4.5 points – pointing to an all-around statistical tie.