The Des Moines Register headline says it all: “Tim Pawlenty need not second guess his decision to drop out.”
The Register asked respondents to its Iowa Poll whether they would support Pawlenty if he had stayed in the presidential race and not dropped out after the Ames straw poll. Only 5 percent said he would be their first choice if he was still in the race — 12 percent said he would be their second choice and 9 percent said he would be their least-favorite candidate.
(As it stands, two candidates check in with 5 percent or less support in Iowa: Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, the latter of which is not competing in the caucuses.)
Pawlenty dropped out after a third place finish in the Aug. 13 straw poll after taking on a good amount of debt betting on a strong finish. Michele Bachmann won the straw poll, but it has done little to build momentum for her campaign — only 8 percent of Iowans say she is their top choice in the Republican presidential contest.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.