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LOS ANGELES - The California Republican Party is in decline, with numbers so low no Republican is expected to compete seriously here against President Barack Obama.

But Michele Bachmann, it would seem, is an optimist.

Introduced by California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro at the state party's fall convention tonight as a "Midwest firecracker," the Minnesota congresswoman told delegates in Los Angeles to take heart.

"I believe that 2012 will be a wave election that goes all across the United States and will even take in the Golden State," she said. "Don't be disheartened, Republican Party of California. Don't be down-hearted."

Bachmann has fallen back in the Republican field since winning the Iowa straw poll in August. Her standing is even worse among California Republicans, preferred by just 6 percent of GOP voters here, according to a recent Field Poll.

But Obama's numbers, she said, aren't so great, either.

"President Obama's numbers are the lowest that they have ever been," Bachmann said, "and I'm just here to say they haven't hit rock bottom yet."

Obama's public approval ratings are low. But he leads Republican hopefuls by double-digit margins in hypothetical match-ups in California.


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