Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Pawlenty Still Shedding Support for Presidential Candidacy in Home State

Bookmark and Share

Statewide support for 'President Pawlenty' in Minnesota reaches all-time low of 35 percent while his gubernatorial approval rating remains solid

A new Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters in Minnesota delivers good news and bad news to outgoing Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty.

On the plus side, Pawlenty emerged from another bloody legislative session, a state Supreme Court decision that overturned his controversial 2009 unallotment, criticism by political opponents and the media for his frequent out-of-state trips, and a looming budget deficit of several billion dollars in the next biennium with good approval ratings.

With 52 percent of Minnesotans believing Pawlenty is doing an 'excellent' or 'good' job, Pawlenty has sustained a 50+ percent approval rating for each of the three Rasmussen polls conducted this year (coming in at 50 percent in March and 53 percent in April).

In fact, the Governor's Rasmussen approval ratings across 2009 and the first half of 2010 have been consistently higher than in 2008 - with his 'excellent' and 'good' marks averaging 52.8 percent over the last year and a half, compared to just 47.3 percent in 2008.

However, with nearly a year gone by since Pawlenty's announcement that he would not seek a third term in office, Gopher State residents still have not warmed up to the idea of their governor running for president.

The new Rasmussen poll finds that only 35 percent of Minnesotans would vote for Pawlenty if he won the Republican nomination for president - the lowest level across the four polls Rasmussen has conducted on this issue since last fall.

Back in November 2009, 42 percent of Gopher State residents stated they would vote for Pawlenty under such a scenario. That number dropped to 37 and 38 percent in January and March respectively, and then to 35 percent in May.

Forty-nine percent of Minnesotans said they would not vote for him.

The faltering support for a Pawlenty presidential campaign in his home state is curious in light of the governor's reasonable approval ratings and the fact that Republican party identification is currently at a five-year high in Minnesota, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats for the first time since October of 2005.

This lack of enthusiasm for a potential presidential run should raise at least a yellow flag for Pawlenty, as history has demonstrated that carrying a home state is a necessary condition, though obviously not a sufficient condition, to winning the presidency.

A Smart Politics analysis of the 56 presidential elections since 1789 found that all but two presidents carried their home state en route to victory.

The only two elected presidents who did not win their home states were James Polk (1844, Tennessee) and Woodrow Wilson (1916, New Jersey).

Perhaps Pawlenty is counting on a stronger base of support for his presidential campaign somewhere south of the border - such as in Iowa.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: DFL Goal to Defeat Bachmann Faces Significant Historical Challenges
Next post: Out with the Old and In with the Older: Ex-Governors Have Historically Good Odds in Comeback Bids

1 Comment


  • The governor is a political opportunist of the highest order.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    Strange Bedfellows: A Historical Review of Divided US Senate Delegations

    Over the last century, states have been twice as likely to be represented by a single political party in the U.S. Senate than have a split delegation; only Delaware, Iowa, and Illinois have been divided more than half the time.

    Political Crumbs

    Haugh to Reach New Heights

    The North Carolina U.S. Senate race between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis may go down to the wire next Tuesday, but along the way Libertarian nominee Sean Haugh is poised to set a state record for a non-major party candidate. Haugh, who previously won 1.5 percent of the vote in the Tar Heel State's 2002 race, has polled at or above five percent in 10 of the last 12 polls that included his name. The current high water mark for a third party or independent candidate in a North Carolina U.S. Senate election is just 3.3 percent, recorded by Libertarian Robert Emory back in 1992. Only one other candidate has eclipsed the three percent mark - Libertarian Christopher Cole with 3.1 percent in 2008.


    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    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