A new Rasmussen poll in Minnesota suggests that Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2012, would have a very hard time picking up his traditionally Democratic state in the general election.
The poll asked: "Suppose Governor Tim Pawlenty runs for President in 2012 and wins the Republican nomination. If Pawlenty was the Republican Presidential candidate, would you vote for him?" The answer was only 37% yes, 46% no. This down from a 42%-46% margin, when Rasmussen previously asked this same question of Minnesotans two months ago.
I asked Alex Conant, spokesman for Pawlenty's Freedom First PAC, for comment on whether Pawlenty would have difficulty carrying his home state, and whether he would intend to compete there. "It's absurdly early to be contemplating, let alone polling, the 2012 landscape," said Conant. "Gov. Pawlenty is focused on balancing Minnesota's budget, finishing his term strong, and helping elect Republicans in this fall's elections."