The entire New Hampshire salaried staff of Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has quit, according to a local television station, undercutting her candidacy in the state that traditionally conducts the nation’s first primary.
Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, had five paid staff members in the state, all of whom in announcing their resignation cited frustration with her lack of commitment to campaigning in New Hampshire, said the report yesterday by Manchester, New Hampshire-based WMUR.
Bachmann’s national campaign manager, Keith Nahigian, said in e-mail yesterday that “we have not been notified that anyone is leaving the campaign.”
Nahigian also said that while Bachmann intends to spend more time in New Hampshire, “our campaign has emphasized that our main focus is the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa and we are continuing to build efforts there.”
Bachmann’s polling number nationally in the Republican race have steadily declined since she won the Iowa Republican Party’s straw poll on Aug. 13. Her path to the nomination is premised on winning the Iowa caucuses, which traditionally kick off the nomination process.
The caucuses are scheduled for Jan. 3; no date has yet been set for the New Hampshire primary.
The staff exodus is the latest in a series of departures from the campaign since her straw poll win.
Campaign manager Ed Rollins and deputy manager David Polyansky quit in early September, followed by pollster Ed Goeas. Longtime aide Andy Parrish also left the campaign’s Iowa office to return to work in Bachmann’s congressional office.
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