Despite her last-place standing in the latest Iowa polls, GOP presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is counting on a “miracle” Tuesday night at the Iowa caucuses.
“This isn’t just about polling,” Bachmann told me this morning on “This Week.” “This is about what we’re seeing in reality, and I think Tuesday night people are going to see a miracle.”
A new Des Moines Register poll released Saturday shows Bachmann at the back of the pack, with just 7 percent support from likely Republican caucus-goers. Mitt Romney led the field with 24 percent support, followed by Rep. Ron Paul with 22 percent.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum, Bachmann’s key competition for the votes of social conservatives, has surged from low single digits up to 15 percent in the Register poll, showing the greatest momentum in the final week before the caucus. Tex. Gov. Rick Perry is also competing for the same voters, drawing 11 percent support in the Register poll.
Despite trailing both Santorum and Perry, Bachmann said she believes she is “the strongest core conservative in this race” and that voters will move to her campaign in the final days.
“There is no comparison with all of the other candidates and my credentials. No other candidate has current national security experience in the race,” Bachmann said. “And when it comes to social issues, there’s no one who can compare with my record… I have an unassailable record on life, on marriage, on religious liberty.”
The Minnesota congresswoman has tumbled in Iowa since her first place showing in the Ames Straw Poll in August. But she said she believes her retail politics across the state in recent weeks will pay off.
“After the last debate, we’ve gone across all of Iowa, all 99 counties, and we’ve actually done heavy, heavy retail politics where we’ve gone into cafes and into living rooms of Iowans, and we’ve made a very strong connection with a lot of people,” Bachmann said.
Bachmann said she hopes to win over undecided voters. According to the Register poll, some 41 percent of voters say they may still change their mind on Tuesday.
“I think the polls, what they’re reflecting will be very different from what we’re seeing on Tuesday night, because people make their decision, quite honestly, in the caucus room,” Bachmann said. “We saw thousands of people switch their vote just in the last couple of weeks, so we think there’s going to be a very profound shift that people see on Tuesday night.”
And Bachmann maintains that she will move forward with her campaign beyond Iowa.
“We’ve bought tickets to head off to South Carolina. And we are looking forward to the debates,” Bachmann said. “We’re here… for the long race. This is a 50-state race. And we intend to participate not only in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, but to go all the way.”
“We’re looking forward. We’re not looking in the rear-view mirror,” Bachmann added.