Pawlenty could be shut out from South Carolina debate

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.

Devin Henry can be reached at

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Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by William Pappas on 08/12/2011 - 05:57 am.

    Three years ago Tim Pawlenty declared himself a presidential candidate. He quickly abandoned any involvement in the affairs of Minnesota except to eliminate as much government spending as possible and depress revenue means as any solution to the budget deficit he created by unnecessary tax cuts for the most wealthy. He had no accomplishments in his tenure. He left the state with a whopping structural imbalance in the budget. He litterally destroyed MNDOT and utilized local funding of education and property taxes to prop up his budget cuts. The state dropped in every single national ranking of importance. He could be called the worst governor the state has ever experienced. On top of that, he never comprimised, was vindictive and burned bridges on the way out. Is it any wonder that he cannot generate a following nationally? Somewhere in his resume he would need a success or accomplishment for that to actually occur. Advancing fantasmagorical economic theory hasn’t worked either. Tiny Tim is just that, a spec on the political presidential scene that is about to blow away.

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