Tim Pawlenty’s numbers haven’t looked good, but his organization is strong in Iowa, and could lead to a strong showing in the Aug. 13 Republican straw poll, says Katrina Trinko in the National Review.
She says the straw poll matters for him:
For Pawlenty, who has all the right credentials on paper but so far has failed to sell himself as a candidate to many voters, it’s a crucial test of his electability.
With Congresswoman Michele Bachmann surging and Texas Gov. Rick Parry on the verge of entering the race, it looks rough for Pawlenty, who needs a first- or second-place finish to stay viable, many believe.
Don’t count him out, though, the story says:
…Pawlenty still has one advantage: his Iowa organization.
“His campaign has made a huge investment in grassroots organization, building the apparatus that it takes to actually motivate people … to go to Ames,” says [former Iowa GOP political director and the editor of TheIowaRepublican.com Craig] Robinson, noting that Pawlenty has “the best-organized campaign in the state,” with a larger staff than any of the other candidates.
“He doesn’t clearly have the momentum,” Robinson acknowledges. “But as long as the people already signed up get to Ames, I think he could finish well. I think he could surprise.”
An Iowa Republican operative thinks that Pawlenty’s “superior” organization could help him leapfrog over Michele Bachmann and get the approximately 3,500 votes needed for an Ames victory. The operative is dubious that Bachmann could round up enough voters.