Rep. Michele Bachmann won the Ames straw poll by energizing evangelical conservatives and tea-party activists. Since then, her poll numbers have dipped, leaving some Republicans wondering whether she can remain in the top tier of a crowded primary field. Her challenge, strategists say, is to win the Iowa caucuses — a potential make-or-break contest — while simultaneously building a national campaign. “There is certainly a path for her to win, but it is becoming narrower,” says GOP pollster John McLaughlin. “She has another shot at picking up speed with the Iowa caucuses, but she needs to find another state where she can beat the frontrunners.”
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