Bachmann touts Iowa straw poll win, downplays importance of Iowa caucuses

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on Sunday both touted her victory in the Iowa Straw Poll as evidence of her presidential run's success and downplayed the importance of Iowa's caucuses to the campaign's future.

Bachmann won the early test vote in Ames, Iowa, in June, but since then her campaign has not fared as well.

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An Iowa native, Bachmann said she was campaigning hard in Iowa and was still competitive.

"I just want to remind you, that I won the Iowa straw poll in less time than any other candidate, and the first woman to ever win the Iowa straw poll," Bachmann said on ABC's "This Week." "I'm doing exactly what I need to do in Iowa."

Bachmann, however, has only 8 percent support among likely Iowa caucusgoers, a new Des Moines Register poll found. She was at 22 percent in that same poll in June.

Businessman Herman Cain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney topped the new Register poll with 23 percent and 22 percent respectively.

On ABC, Bachmann tried to show that her campaign's ambitions go beyond Iowa.

"Of course, we're focused on Iowa," she said. "We're focused on the schedule and the primary process. Iowa is the first caucus. Then on to New Hampshire. And after that, the first in the South, which will be South Carolina."

Asked what would happen if she lost in Iowa, Bachmann said her message would resonate with voters anyway.

"You know, really, the most important thing right now is the positive message that we're putting out in every state," she said. "People see me as a reformer and a fighter.  That's what sets me apart in this race from all of the candidates."

At the end of September, the Bachmann campaign released a video in which Keith Nahigian, the campaign manager, explained why Iowa was a "must win" state for Bachmann.

"She has to win Iowa and move on from there," Nahigian said in the video.