The Washington Post reports that after a poor performance in yesterday's Iowa straw poll, Mr. Pawlenty knew it was time to step aside.
Despite weeks crisscrossing Iowa and an investment of roughly $1 million, Pawlenty came in a distant third place after fellow Minnesotan Rep. Michele Bachmann and Texas Rep. Ron Paul in Saturday’s celebrated straw poll on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames.
The straw poll, which attracted about 17,000 voters — a fraction of the overall Republican electorate in Iowa — has a spotty history predicting the winner of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, let alone the eventual Republican nominee. But it is known for its role of winnowing the Republican field, and this year is no exception with Pawlenty the first casualty.
Another Minnesotan, Rep. Michele Bachmann, won the straw poll, which shouldn't have surprised many because of the appeal she has with social conservatives there.