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Iowa updates: Bachmann talks about hiring staff; Pawlenty parlays with religious conservatives

The Iowa caucuses are less than a year away — Feb.

The Iowa caucuses are less than a year away — Feb. 6, 2012 — so the two Minnesota Republicans hoping to be among the horses in that race aren’t wasting time.

The Des Moines Register reported over the weekend that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is talking about hiring staff in Iowa in advance of a serious run there.

And former Gov. Tim Pawlenty is busy courting social and religious conservatives today in Iowa. He’s holding a speech and question-and-answer session at the Pella Christian High School for The Family Leader, a social conservative group in Iowa, the Register says.

From Pella, he heads to Iowa City and Sioux Center for similar appearances.

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The early Iowa caucuses in his backyard will be a must-do-well situation for Pawlenty if he is to have any chance at the Republican nomination.