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Coming out of the Ames Straw Poll, Bachmann was looking pretty good in a strong position until Perry began seriously taking boat loads of her supporters. At this point, her position in the field is softening and we’ll probably see where it ends up following the crowded debate schedule this month.

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Report from The Daily Caller:

In the latest Fox News poll, Rep. Michele Bachmann scored a surprisingly low four percent, behind Texas Governor Rick Perry, who led with 26 percent. Mitt Romney followed at 18 percent, Sarah Palin doubled Bachmann’s support with eight percent, and Rep. Ron Paul registered seven percent.

The downward slide for Bachmann comes just weeks after she swept the Ames Straw poll — an early test of the GOP field. But that field lacked the presence of the now dominant Rick Perry. And, the Fox News poll goes one step further in cementing what analysts have suspected for days: Rick Perry is sucking all the wind out of Bachmann’s sails.

Since Perry’s late entry, he has surged in the polls so much so, that the Real Clear Politics average has him at 26.3 percent, while Bachmann sits at 8.8 percent.

So where does Bachmann’s campaign go from here?

“Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney share the same problem, but in a different way,” pollster Scott Rasmussen told The Daily Caller. “The problem is Rick Perry.”

“For Bachmann, the Perry problem is that he captures a lot of the outsider appeal that gave the congresswoman a boost,” Rasmussen added. “Unless he stumbles, there is nowhere for her campaign to go.”

That’s not to say Bachmann’s campaign can’t or won’t serve an important role in 2012. Bachmann is lined up to become a potential “RINO-killer”. In 2010, Senate candidates Joe Miller of Alaska and Christine O’Donnell of Delaware filled that niche when they defeated establishment candidates Lisa Murkowski and Mike Castle, respectively, in their primaries.

It can be argued that Bachmann single-handedly took out Tim Pawlenty in the last debate held on August 11th, I’m eager to see who she comes out swinging against harder, Perry or Romney this time around. She’ll need to keep her strong debate record spotless if she has a hopes of rekindling some of her earlier poll numbers.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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