Top Republicans neutral in the race say she squandered opportunities to build on her win and are baffled by the decisions her campaign is making, notably limiting most of her campaigning to Waterloo and the large cities of Des Moines, Ames and Cedar Rapids.
“She’s a great candidate but has turned into a really bad campaigner,” said one longtime Iowa GOP operative who spoke anonymously to preserve relations with the campaign. “She has not gone to northwest Iowa, to the heart of where her support would be. Of Iowa’s 99 counties, she’s only visited a handful, most of which are urban counties. She needs to go out to the rural counties — she would be well received.”
Bachmann has dropped in the polls here, as she has nationally. Top advisors have left or been forced out. Reports of lackluster fundraising were bolstered by her campaign’s plea to supporters last week for “emergency” contributions.
At an event in Cedar Rapids, aides handed out leftover brochures asking for support at the straw poll, more than a month ago.