Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann’s two top campaign aides, her campaign manager Ed Rollins and deputy campaign manager David Polyansky, have announced they are leaving their current roles in her 2012 presidential campaign.
Rollins, who advised Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon, is leaving his day-to-day post, although he has said he will still serve as a senior advisor. Polyanksy is leaving the campaign. Campaign strategist Keith Nahigian has become Bachmann’s interim campaign manager.
The 68-year-old Rollins had a stroke last year and said he was stepping aside for health reasons. However, last week he told the Washington Post, "The Perry-Romney race is now the story, with us the third candidate.”
A GOP source told Politico that Polyansky had “strategic differences on the path forward” with the Bachmann, and two Republican sources said other departures were possible.
According to the Christian Science Monitor:
In a recent Fox News survey, Bachmann was the choice of a whopping 4 percent of Republican voters. That tied her for fifth place with two candidates who aren’t even running: Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee. She’s only one percentage point ahead of, you guessed it, Newt Gingrich.
“I’ve spent a lot of time talking to people on the ground in Iowa and South Carolina in the past week and there is a sense among activists on the ground that Bachmann is starting to fade,” conservative blogger Erick Erickson wrote over the weekend, according to the Christian Science Monitor. “It is not that they do not like her. In fact, they love her. But there is a creeping sense that she cannot beat Obama and they want someone who can beat Obama.”
Bachmann is known for burning through top-level aides in Congress, The Associated Press reports. She has had six chiefs of staff in four years, five press secretaries, five legislative directors and three communications directors.