But now there’s something happening with the Bachmann campaign. It’s not a boom, not even a boomlet. But many Republican voters are recognizing Bachmann’s sheer determination and tenacity. They’ve seen her take a lot of hits and keep going. They’ve seen her make mistakes and correct them. And as conservatives, especially social conservatives, look for a candidate to support against Romney, some are giving Bachmann a second look…

“Of all the other candidates, I’m the consistent conservative in the race,” she says. “I’m not a johnny-come-lately, I’m not a chameleon, not a recent conversion — it is who I am. And I think that’s what the social conservatives in Iowa are looking for. I’m the same person they voted for last summer, and I think when it comes to Jan. 3, they’re going to come home.”…

Now, Bachmann is by all accounts a better candidate, even though the campaign has been a bruising experience. “I defend this process,” she says. “It’s hard. But this process causes you to be more exacting. Everything you say gets recorded. That scrutiny … causes us to be better.”