DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann plan to make their next — and possibly last — stands in South Carolina instead of chasing the rest of the GOP presidential pack to New Hampshire.

Neither candidate is a sure bet to survive past Tuesday’s leadoff Iowa caucuses. But both say they’ll jump ahead to the first Southern state to vote, a recognition that they have little hope of making up ground in the nine days before New Hampshire’s primary. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is heavily favored in his neighboring state, but a few others are in pursuit.

Perry, the Texas governor, heads straight to Greenville, S.C. on Wednesday. Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, will spend part of three days in that state beginning Wednesday, her campaign manager said.

The two campaigns could face pressure to fold if they don’t pull off surprising third-place-or-better finishes in Iowa. In Bachmann’s case, the latest polling has her in last place among the six candidates campaigning hard.

For the last week, Bachmann has pushed back on daily questions about her ability to move on if she can’t climb out of the basement in Iowa, the state where she was born.

“Well, we’ve bought tickets to head off to South Carolina,” she said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” She has a South Carolina staff of at least a dozen and backing from influential tea party activists there.

Asked this weekend if he could conceive of a scenario where she drops out ahead of South Carolina, Bachmann campaign manager Keith Nahigian told The Associated Press, “Not at this point.”

Nahigian said Bachmann doesn’t intend to arrive in New Hampshire until Friday ahead of back-to-back weekend debates there. Perry also plans to participate in those debates.

Bachmann has invested little time in New Hampshire in the six months she’s been in the race. In October, five full-time staff members for her there quit.

Perry is also a footnote in most New Hampshire polls and hasn’t devoted much effort to the state lately.

Romney is far ahead of his rivals in New Hampshire. But former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman practically moved into a state where independents can vote, bypassing an Iowa contest where social conservatives tend to hold sway. Texas Rep. Ron Paul and Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also plan to aggressively compete in New Hampshire.

“I think New Hampshire is a good place to start the debate for South Carolina,” Gingrich said Sunday.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
  1. Religious persecution says:

    Maybe the good people of South Carolina will vote as they have in the past…which could give MB a chance, but probably not. Remember, God wants Michelle to win and make alot of money. Ha ha ha ha

  2. Murph says:

    Yes,in her latest blurb she tells idiot republican Iowans.That at age 16 the lights suddenly came on for her! Wow,and they are still burning too! The lights are on,but sadly for her and Marcus.Absolutely nobody is home! How can any of this latest batch of crazie coots expect to be POTUS. Hey,not everybody is a money hungry,religiously fanatical, kill grandma,grandpa and the sick and poor kid’s type of people.To what ?save on their taxes? THESE paid by the super rich ninnies are going to reduce YOUR taxes? That is funny,because they have not done anything but promise to reduce millionaires taxes by making you pay more in taxes and just bout everything else! Wake up America,the snake oil ,big oil, roll in the spoils republicans ain’t gonna do jack for anyone less involved in their quest for more wealth and power ! Bachmann ,as goofy as she is may not be the worst choice one could make out of this batch!

    1. Murph, Murph, Murph says:

      I just want the least dangerous politician to win the White House. Oh wait, there are no least dangerous politicians.

  3. Chuck says:

    I’m sorry, but her campaign went South some time ago!!!

  4. keel says:

    Neither one of them can count…good place to go…good old Dixie with all the other Crackers. Dimwits

  5. TL the alligator says:

    she has gone from crazy loon to just plain sad…..a very very sad situation….how can she ever live with such knowing the whole dam country sees her as a loony tune.?…..oh well, she did it to herself.

  6. Incredulous1 says:

    And stay south!

    Obama O12!

  7. Enough said says:

    I hope that’s south of the U.S. boarder.

  8. far south says:

    I kinda was wondering if south may not be…hopefully…straight to hell ? Anyone know ?

    1. nutty says:

      The Red guy don’t want the beetch either. maybe she’ll just have to live amongst her type in the 6th forever. We can jam the airwaves and build a wall around it like she wants to do to the south. Maybe call it Spin City ? Crazy County ? Whackoville?

  9. Step right up and look says:

    at the bachmanns
    burnt toast and a gay dude

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