In the continuing assessment of Republican conservative hopefuls . . .
Michele Bachmann remains one of the most consistently conservative candidates. Calling herself a "Constitutional conservative," she opposed the bailouts, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the stimulous packages. She has called for an audit of the Federal Reserve, encouraged a reduction in both spending and taxation, and advocated repealing regulations on business, particularly in the energy sector.
Bachmann has performed satisfactorally in the debates, including the most recent one where she attacked the two front runners and clearly distinguished herself from them as a "Constitutional conservative:"
To which Romney, who clearly detests Gingrich, could only be thinking, well, who didn't see this coming:
These policy positions have won her support from members of the Tea Party movment.
Bachmann's core support however, like that of Rick Perry, lies in the evangelical community. She is one of the many politicians who attempt to incorporate traditional religious concerns into the Tea Party movement. This "strange brew" has only limited culinary appeal. Her positions on "social issues" trumps all others when is comes to her "Constitutional conservatism." Bachmann believes in a strong federal government when it comes to issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
Bachmann's positions on "social issues" animates her strongest supporters. But these positions also restrict her appeal not only among some conservatives, but also among the independents needed to capture the White House.
Although she has avoided debate gaffes, she has committed plenty of these, some important some not, while on the campaign trail. When combined with her undistinguished career in the House of Representatives and her persona or lack of gravitas or whatever it is, she remains far behind in polling both among Republicans and against President Obama.
While most conservatives ultimately would embrace her as the "Not-Obama," she cannot even establish herself as the "Not-Romney."