Columbia, S.C. – Rep. Michele Bachmann (R., Minn.) was warmly recieved by South Carolina Republicans this afternoon at the Palmetto Freedom Forum. Her campaign, however, received some tough news: Campaign manager Ed Rollins, who famously managed Ronald Reagan’s 1984 reelection effort, is stepping down due to health reasons. Maggie Haberman has more:
Ed Rollins is going to be stepping back from day-to-day management of the Michele Bachmann campaign, and moving into a senior advisory role, he said in an interview.
Rollins said the reason for the change is personal — his health and the rigors of a campaign.
“I wish I was 40 years old, but I’m not,” he told POLITICO. “I’m 68 years old, I had a stroke a year and a half ago. I’m worn out.”
Since winning the August straw poll, Bachmann has attempted to broaden her campaign, hitting the trail in South Carolina and Florida. Those stump stops, however, have done little to generate national momentum. Perry, meanwhile, has rocketed to the front of the pack, leaving Bachmann scrambling to hold on to her tea-party support. A Gallup poll this week shows tea-party-affiliated Republicans flocking to Perry, who holds a 21-point lead over Bachmann within this bloc.
Among all Republicans, the numbers are similar. A new CNN/ORC International survey shows Bachmann trailing Perry, the poll topper, by 18 points among likely GOP voters. Bachmann, who in the same poll took 12 percent in July, now finds herself in single digits. Even in Iowa, where Bachmann made her splash, Perry is climbing. A Public Policy Polling survey released this week shows Perry with 22 percent support among Iowa Republicans, four points ahead of Bachmann.
UPDATE: Bachmann’s deputy campaign manager is leaving.