Michele Bachmann's presidential campaign is "beyond speculation," a Republican consultant tells Fox News' Chris Stirewalt. "They are doing this." The Minnesota congresswoman's advisers are telling reporters that it's "very likely" she'll jump in the race now that the lineup is starting to shake out. With evangelical favorite Mike Huckabee dropping out, Newt Gingrich in freefall practically minutes into his campaign, and Sarah Palin looking like she won't run, only Rick Santorum stands between Bachmann and the social conservative vote.
In another good sign for Bachmann, the early favorable polls for Donald Trump's faux candidacy show that some Republican voters, at least, have an appetite for sharp attacks on President Obama, something at which Bachmann excels. Since Trump announced that, you know what, business is his "greatest passion" after all, calls to Bachmann's offices "have been burning up our lines," a source told Fox News' Carl Cameron. One caller deemed the Tea Party favorite "our Margaret Thatcher!"
Bachmann has said she'll decide in June. She filed to run for reelection to her House seat in March, paperwork that allowed her to create a joint fundraising effort to help both the Arizona Republican Party and Bachmann for Congress. Her chief of staff noted that money raised for her congressional race could be transferred to a presidential campaign. Last month alone, Bachmann raised nearly $175,000 for her political action committee, Politico's Maggie Haberman reports.