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The Fast Fix: What happened to Bachmann?

Chris Cillizza
The Fast Fix

Michele Bachmann made waves at the Ames Straw Poll just weeks ago, but now with her campaign overshadowed by Rick Perry's, she struggles to find a voice that will keep her followers energized.

What happened to Michele Bachmann?

A month ago the Minnesota Republican Congresswoman was on top of the political world. She had won the Ames Straw Poll in Iowa and was being cast as the frontrunner in the Hawkeye State's caucuses next year

No longer. Two new national polls released this week showed Bachmann's support cut in half. And, in Wednesday night's Republican debate in California Bachmann was a non-entity, often not even uttering a word for long stretches of time.

There is no simple explanation for Bachmann's fade.

The biggest factor is Texas Gov. Rick Perry's decision to run, a move that effectively sapped much of the Tea Party energy from Bachmann's campaign.

But Bachmann herself has struggled to move beyond her fiery conservative rhetoric and find a second act in the race. And questions about her ability to beat President Obama next fall continue to linger.

Bachmann remains a charismatic and conservative candidate. But, unless she can reverse her current free-fall, she looks like she will be on the outside looking in at the fight for the Republican nomination.

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