If Tim Pawlenty’s polling numbers don’t improve after this weekend’s Ames Straw Poll, he risks being left out of a South Carolina debate this fall.
The Palmetto Freedom Forum, held on Labor Day weekend, will only allow candidates who receive at least 5 percent in the August 22 RealClearPolitics average of polls to participate in its debate, Roll Call reports. On Thursday morning, Pawlenty was sitting at only 2.4 percent.
This weekend’s straw poll could have a dramatic effect on those numbers, though. If Pawlenty does well, his polling numbers could increase — or vice versa.
Michele Bachmann, at 10.6 percent, would be eligible to participate, based on the Palmetto requirements.
At least one organization has already dropped Pawlenty as a major candidate because of his poor polling — Public Policy Polling announced in July they’d no longer include him in certain polls because of his weak showings.
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