This doesn’t seem like a Gingrich-level shakeup, however. True, it comes shortly after Rollins acknowledged to the Washington Post that his candidate was no longer in the top tier. But both newly former staffers said they wished nothing but the best for Bachmann.
Rollins has plausible reasons for leaving – he has suffered health problems in the past and he says he’s just not up for the grind anymore.
That said, the real comparison Bachmann might worry about now is not with Newt Gingrich, who is still in the race, but with Tim Pawlenty, who isn’t. Her poll numbers are deflating to the point that her candidacy seems endangered.
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.
Worse for her, 18 percent of respondents in the poll said her positions are so extreme they would never vote for her. She led that particular category.
The entry of Sen. Rick Perry (R) of Texas into the race may have sapped energy out of the Bachmann campaign. Tellingly, the first anti-Perry attack ad in the race came from a Super-PAC linked to Bachmann, pointed out conservative blogger Erick Erickson over the weekend.