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Are Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry out of the GOP race?

Michele Bachmann canceled a campaign trip to South Carolina. Gov. Rick Perry is back in Texas.

By Kasie Hunt and Philip ElliottAssociated Press / January 4, 2012

Rep. Michele Bachmann, (R) of Minn., addresses supporters at her caucus party in West Des Moines, Iowa, after finishing sixth in the Iowa Caucuses Tuesday.

(AP Photo/The Des Moines Register, Justin Hayworth)

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Des Moines, Iowa

 Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann canceled her campaign trip to South Carolina on Wednesday after a dismal showing in the Iowa caucuses. Gov. Rick Perry has gone back to Texas to decided if there's a "path forward."

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Campaign manager Keith Nahigian told The Associated Press that the Minnesota congresswoman planned a news conference in Iowa late Wednesday morning. Nahigian would not say whether Bachmann intends to drop out.

Bachmann, 55, told a small group of supporters Tuesday night that she was staying in the presidential race — despite her sixth place finish — as the only true conservative who can defeat President Barack Obama. But her campaign is known to be low on money.

IN PICTURES: Iowa caucus winners

Her campaign peaked early with a first place finish in the Iowa GOP's summer straw poll, but by mid- to late September polling showed Bachmann in single digits. She focused her campaign efforts on Iowa, where she grew up.

The New Hampshire primary is the next contest in the race. But Bachmann's strategy had her effectively writing off that Jan. 10 contest and focusing on the Southern state that, at least on paper, is a better fit for her brand of conservatism. The South Carolina primary is on Jan. 21.

RICK PERRY HEADS HOME
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said Tuesday that he would head home "to determine whether there is a path forward" for his White House bid after he finished a distant fifth in the Iowa caucuses.

At times pausing to collect his emotions, Perry told supporters that he appreciated their work but that he needed to consider whether there was a viable strategy for him to restart his campaign in South Carolina.

"With the voters' decision tonight in Iowa, I decided to return to Texas, assess the results of tonight's caucus, determine whether there is a path forward for myself in this race," Perry said, his family standing behind him.

Before Perry spoke, his advisers tried to paint the first contest in the South as the real start to his strategy and braced for a lackluster performance in the Iowa caucuses, which typically winnows the field of presidential hopefuls.

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