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Pawlenty: Straw Poll Failure Would Force Cutbacks

By Dan Weil   |  

Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is optimistic about Saturday’s Straw Poll in Iowa. But if he fares poorly, he “may not have any choice” but to sharply shrink his campaign organization, the former Minnesota governor said at a breakfast sponsored by Politico Friday.
 
“We’re seeing some nice movement in the numbers,” he said. “I can’t tell you that we’re gonna win it tomorrow or that we need to win it, [but] I think it’ll be a good result.”

Still, Pawlenty addressed the possibility of failure. “If we do really bad, we'll have to reassess,” he said. “Would we have to retrench in some fashion? Probably, but I don’t think that’s gonna happen.”
 
Pawlenty is certainly putting his money where his mouth is with respect to the poll, spending $1 million to boost his prospects. Pawlenty supporters and workers indicate he’s laying out more money in the final run-up to the poll, Politico reports.
 
“With the support of the national campaign office, you don’t have to ask, ‘Can I?’ or ‘Should I?’” Christian Fong, co-chairman of Pawlenty’s Iowa campaign, told Politico. “There’s a clear strategic mission: We have an open checkbook to do what we need to do on the ground.”
 
And Fong said there’s no shortage of money, calling it an “embarrassment of riches” with “no resource constraints.”
 
Pundits see strength in Pawlenty’s effort, given that he has the biggest paid campaign staff in the state and the most endorsements from Republicans there.

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Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty is optimistic about Saturday s Straw Poll in Iowa. But if he fares poorly, he may not have any choice but to sharply shrink his campaign organization, the former Minnesota governor said at a breakfast sponsored by Politico...
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