Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Half of Minnesotans Believe Pawlenty Will Be the 2012 GOP Presidential Nominee

Bookmark and Share

A new Rasmussen poll finds Minnesotans are increasingly of the view that Governor Tim Pawlenty will win the Republican nomination for President in 2012.

Back in mid-May, 37 percent of Minnesota residents believed it was very likely (7 percent) or somewhat likely (30 percent) that Pawlenty would win the GOP nomination in three years. In the new poll, conducted of 500 likely voters on September 15th, that number has increased to 50 percent, with 16 percent now believing it is very likely Pawlenty will emerge as the Republican nominee and 34 percent believing it is somewhat likely.

Only 36 percent believed Pawlenty would not win the nomination, compared to 55 percent in May.

The Rasmussen survey was conducted before the Family Research Council's Value Voters Summit straw poll was conducted this weekend, in which Pawlenty finished third behind Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney.

There are a few possible explanations as to why Minnesotans believe in greater numbers today that Pawlenty will win the Republican presidential nomination as compared to four months ago.

First, back in May, Pawlenty had not yet announced his decision that he would not seek a third term as Governor. Many Republicans, and some independents, were perhaps reluctant to believe that their Governor would make a run for the Oval Office, and not for reelection in 2010.

Pawlenty's support for his job performance statewide, to be sure, is still solid. The new Rasmussen poll finds Pawlenty with a +13 net job approval rating (56 approving, 43 percent disapproving) - up from +7 in May and up from +1 the last time Rasmussen had asked this type of approval rating question, in November 2006 right before Pawlenty was reelected.

Another reason Minnesotans may find Pawlenty to be a more credible contender for the Republican nomination today is that his "clean-cut image" has distinguished himself from some of his once-rumored 2012 rivals, two of which saw any hope of potential presidential runs end this summer after sex scandals broke (South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and Nevada Senator John Ensign).

A third reason Pawlenty may seem more 'presidential' to Minnesotans is that he is acting like a candidate - fundraising across the country for other GOPers, and attending high profile events out of state such as the Value Voters Summit this past weekend. In the new Rasmussen poll, 50 percent of Minnesotans said they were very or somewhat concerned about the amount of time Governor Pawlenty was spending outside of Minnesota.

Still, Pawlenty finds himself alongside several prominent ex-governors who populate the high-profile (though hypothetical) 2012 Republican candidate field (e.g. Huckabee, Romney, Sarah Palin). And while half of Minnesotans believe he will be the GOP nominee, winning the White House is yet another hurdle: for the path to the presidency has, to date, proved to be elusive for Minnesota politicians.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Minnesota Housing Foreclosure Rate Still Up 67 Percent Since Election Day
Next post: Which States Do Presidents Come From? (Not Minnesota, Yet)

1 Comment


  • He's no Charlie Crist or Jon Huntsman Jr., someone whose popularity at home clearly points toward some kind of special political acumen. True, almost any "opposite-color" governor of a reasonably large state is someone who is going to get at least a passing thought from his party. But there's no particularly good reason why, say, Tim Pawlenty is considered a serious presidential candidate and someone like Jodi Rell isn't.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Gender Equality in the US House: A State-by State Quarter-Century Report Card (1989-2014)

    A study of 5,325 congressional elections finds the number of female U.S. Representatives has more than tripled over the last 25 years, but the rate at which women are elected to the chamber still varies greatly between the states.

    Political Crumbs

    Final Four Has Presidential Approval

    By edging Michigan in the final seconds Sunday, the University of Kentucky guaranteed that one school in the Final Four this year would be located in a state that was not carried by President Barack Obama in 2012. (Connecticut, Florida, and Wisconsin had previously earned Final Four slots over the weekend). Across the 76 Final Fours since 1939, an average of 3.1 schools have been located in states won by the president's ticket during the previous election cycle. All four schools have come from states won by the president 29 times, with the most recent being the 2009 Final Four featuring Connecticut, Michigan State, North Carolina, and Villanova. On 30 occasions three Final Four schools have been located in states won by the president, with two schools 11 times and only one school six times (the most recent being 2012 with Kansas, Kentucky, Louisville, and Ohio State). There has never been a Men's NCAA Division I Final Four in which no schools were located in states carried by the president's ticket.


    Three for the Road

    A new Rasmussen Poll shows Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in a dead heat with likely 2014 Democratic nominee Mary Burke. Walker is seeking to win his third consecutive election after prevailing in 2012's recall contest. Eight of his predecessors accomplished this feat: Republicans Lucius Fairchild (in 1869), Jeremiah Rusk (1886), Robert La Follette (1904), Emanuel Philipp (1918), John Blaine (1924), Walter Kohler (1954), Warren Knowles (1968), and Tommy Thompson (1994). Three others Badger State governors lost on their third campaign: Democrat George Peck (1894), Progressive Philip La Follette (1938), and Republican Julius Heil (1942). One died in office before having the opportunity to win a third contest (GOPer Walter Goodland in 1947) while another resigned beforehand (Democrat Patrick Lucey in 1977 to become Ambassador to Mexico). Overall Wisconsin gubernatorial incumbents have won 35 of 47 general election contests, or 74.5 percent of the time.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting