Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannEvangelicals shouldn't be defending Trump in tiff over editorial Mellman: The 'lane theory' is the wrong lane to be in White House backs Stephen Miller amid white nationalist allegations MOREs Iowa campaign chairman has jumped ship and is now backing Ron Paul, the latest blow to her presidential campaign and a coup for Paul’s.

Iowa state Sen. Kent Sorenson (R) endorsed Paul, his campaign announced Wednesday night. Paul has led in most Iowa caucus polls in the last few weeks, and most Hawkeye State observers believe he will finish first or second in the Jan. 3 caucus, while Bachmann has been struggling in the polls.

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The decision I am making today is one of the most difficult I have made in my life, Sorenson said in a statement released by Pauls campaign. But given whats at stake for our country, I have decided to take this action. Today I am switching my support from Michele Bachmann to Ron Paul for the 2012 Iowa caucuses and the presidency of the United States.

Sorenson continued on to praise Bachmanns record and said he has an immense amount of respect for Michele. But he said there is a clear top tier in the race for the Republican nomination for president, both here in Iowa and nationally, and that Paul, not Bachmann, is in that tier.

Bachmann has struggled in the polls since Rick Perry entered the presidential race in August, quashing any momentum from her win at the Ames straw poll that month. Paul, who nearly beat her at the straw poll, has built upon a strong field organization in Iowa and is one of the top candidates in the state.

Other than benefiting Paul, Sorensons shift will help Perry and Rick Santorum, who are vying for the same pool of social conservatives in the state.