Bachmann Staff in New Hampshire Quits

By Steve Peoples | October 21, 2011 | 3:35 PM EDT

Republican presidential candidate, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., speaks at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Exeter, N.H. (AP) - Michele Bachmann's New Hampshire staff has resigned.

The Republican presidential contender largely ignored the first-in-the-nation primary state. She has been focused on Iowa and South Carolina, where her social conservative message has more appeal.

The small group of New Hampshire tea party activists who remained loyal to the Minnesota congresswoman had been growing frustrated. Two people with direct knowledge of the situation confirm that as many as five staffers formally left the campaign this week.

Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart says reports of a staff shakeup are inaccurate but didn't say which details are incorrect.

Bachmann has fallen in the polls and is struggling to raise money. New Hampshire Republicans say the resignations are not a surprise, given her increased focus elsewhere.