Is Bachmann in trouble even in Iowa?

While Michele Bachmann maintains that her road to the presidency goes through Iowa, and that the road appears driveable, the Los Angeles Times reports that roadblocks are appearing:

After she formally announced her candidacy at her birthplace of Waterloo, about 100 miles northeast of here, Bachmann surged, capping the summer with a win at the straw poll in Ames. Since then, her candidacy has sputtered.

 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.”

 The trick, some say, is for her to recapture that early buzz that intrigued Iowans at the start of her run:

“Back to basics,” said Tim Hagle, a political science professor at the University of Iowa. “She needs to get back to that grass-roots retail politics that we particularly here in Iowa like.”

And she’s trying to make changes, the story said:

Although not punctual, she’s not as late as she used to be. She takes more questions; inside a chilly meat locker in Des Moines recently, she answered questions until reporters ran out of them.

“We’re doing exactly what we need to do,” Bachmann said, standing in front of sides of beef. “We’re here in Iowa, meeting with people, engaging with people, listening to them and talking about what their concerns are.”

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