WASHINGTON - Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign today announced the hiring of two high-level staffers to beef up her presence in South Carolina and replace some high-level political talent after recent staff shakeouts have thinned the campaign's top ranks.
One of the hires is Guy Short, who will serve as the campaign's national political director. Short has already been working for Bachmann in various capacities, including as a political and fundraising consultant, since at least 2010. He previously worked for former Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) and has close ties to the religious conservative wing of the Republican party.
Short has helped managed Bachmann's political action committee MICHELEPAC, which organized much of Bachmann's travel before she officially entered the race.
The other new hire is Ron Thomas, who the campaign describes as a senior advisor for South Carolina. According to a press release from the campaign, Thomas served as a deputy assistant secretary for policy in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs under President George W. Bush and has extensive links to the South Carolina Republican party.
Bachmann's campaign has paid increasing attention to South Carolina, with its large population of conservative evangelical voters, in recent weeks. Bachmann's recent appearances have included a hard sell to that constituency. She's argued that Republicans should nominate the most conservative candidate that they can this cycle rather than settling for a moderate compromise candidate who can appeal to independent voters.
After peaking this summer, the latest polls show that Bachmann's support has cratered. A recent nationwide Washington Post/Bloomberg poll shows her drawing 4 percent support.