GOP's Bachmann limps to Iowa caucus finish line

By BRIAN BAKST | December 30, 2011 | 4:11 AM EST

NEVADA, Iowa (AP) — Republican Michele Bachmann is insisting her presidential campaign is going forward despite staff departures, depleted campaign coffers and calls for her to drop out of the race.

She faces a steep challenge with Iowa's caucuses looming Tuesday.

It's a much different situation than she faced in the summer when she was riding high after a victory in the Iowa straw poll. Her slide from contender status started soon after, and she's struggled for months to reverse the trend.

The Minnesota congresswoman is relying on sheer hustle to stay afloat. On Thursday, she capped a 99-county sprint across Iowa.

But instead of ending the exhausting trek on a high note, Bachmann found herself feuding with her advisers, only the latest supporters to abandon her bid for the Republican nomination.