Campaign 2012
12:00 am
Fri October 21, 2011

Bachmann Staffers Call It Quits

Minnesota Congresswoman's local campaign workers resign en masse. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports.

Michele Bachmann announced her presidential run at a debate here in June. And during each of her 4 trips to NH, Bachmann's been quick to insist she is a natural fit for the state.

"NH is all about low taxes and liberty and that’s what I’m about, so we are perfect match. We are a marriage made in heaven."

But apparently Bachmann’s paid NH staffers don’t see it that way. As first reported by TV station WMUR, some half-dozen campaign workers quit en masse, because Bachmann hasn’t spent much time in the granite state. Neither the former staffers, nor Bachmann’s campaign returned calls for this story. But Political scientist Dean Spiliotes of Southern NH University says the exodus just adds to Bachmann’s steep local challenges.

"The reality is her ability to compete in this state, given her ideological positioning has always been in question."

 Bachmann confirmed last week what her campaign schedule already made clear – she was focusing her efforts on the Iowa caucuses, where socially conservative voters play a key role. Fiscal issues tend to play a larger role in NH. University of NH pollster Andy Smith says Bachmann’s probably better off concentrating on Iowa, given her downward trajectory in the polls here.

"Bachmann now is the least popular among the republican candidates in NH, at a minus 18 net favorability rating."

NH has traditionally been the last best hope for the long shot candidate. But this year it seems unlikely to play that role for Michele Bachmann.