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Bachmann Fights To Convince Iowans She's Electable

EMILY BOYER, BYLINE: And I'm Emily Boyer traveling with Michelle Bachmann. The Minnesota Congresswoman wrapped up her bus tour of Iowa's 99 counties yesterday. She's been on the road for most of the last two weeks in a final push to generate support before the Iowa Caucuses. At a stop yesterday in Des Moines, Bachmann said with just days to go, she's optimistic.

MICHELLE BACHMANN: We are very well organized. We're seeing a lot of momentum. And Iowans aren't told who to vote for. Iowans are independent and they're going to make their decisions.

BOYER: Bachmann said the Ames Straw Poll has been the only real measurement in the race so far. That's the Iowa event she won back in August. Bachmann is disregarding opinion polls that have her consistently in single digits. Cindy Miller, a Bachmann supporter from Boone County in central Iowa, said she also doesn't give the polls much weight.

CINDY MILLER: I'm dumbfounded over where they're getting their numbers and statistics, because when I talk to people, I don't know who's voting for Romney and who's voting for Gingrich, but I'm not finding people that have them at the top of the pack.

BOYER: While, Bachmann has maintained a small core group of supporters, many Iowans walk away from her campaign visits still undecided. Their biggest concern: electability. Here's how Bachmann addressed that issue earlier this week.

BACHMANN: I am the best candidate to take on Barack Obama, because I will act in the same legacy of a Ronald Reagan. Everyone said Ronald Reagan could never win. They said he was too conservative. We need an uncompromised, principled candidate. I am that candidate and I'm the best one to defeat Barack Obama.

BOYER: Bachmann's former Iowa campaign chairman, Kent Sorenson, disagrees. On Wednesday, Sorenson threw his support behind Texas Congressman Ron Paul. Despite the defection from her campaign's leadership, Bachmann said she's still determined to become the Republican nominee. But a low ranking in the Iowa Caucuses could put an end to her national campaign.

For NPR News, I'm Emily Boyer in Des Moines. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Emily Boyer
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