DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) –
The GOP presidential campaigns in Iowa are set to ramp up over the next six weeks as the top challengers to front-runner Mitt Romney try to build support in the 2012 race.
Congresswoman Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty have much to prove before an important straw poll in mid-August in the leadoff caucus state.
Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is waiting to see whether Bachmann's recent rise comes with real support in Iowa and whether Pawlenty's low poll numbers turn around.
For now, Romney plans to tread lightly in Iowa and look to New Hampshire for a momentum-boost.
But Romney's healthy fundraising and lead in national polls give him the option to decide this fall how hard to push in Iowa.