A new poll shows Tim Pawlenty slipping to the bottom tier of the presidential field as rival Minnesotan Michele Bachmann shoots upwards.
The latest numbers from Quinnipiac University put Mitt Romney first at 25%, Michele Bachmann second at 14%, then undeclared candidates Sarah Palin at 12% and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 10%. Pawlenty is stuck way in the back of the class at 3%, behind pizza magnate Herman Cain at 6%, struggling Newt Gingrich at 5%, and libertarian Ron Paul at 5% as well. At least he’s doing better than the flatlining Jon Huntsman, Thad McCotter, and Rick Santorum, who don’t even register above 1%.Pawlenty registered at 5% in the same poll last month while Bachmann was at just 6%.
The usual caveat: early national polls are far less relevant than the state-level action in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, etc. and are a lagging indicator in presidential nominating contests. Having said that, these numbers are rough for Pawlenty, who has spent months trying to fashion a credible challenge to frontrunner Mitt Romney. The former Minnesota governor has taken to attacking Bachmann directly in recent days in an effort halt her growing momentum.