Congratulations, Governor Pawlenty. You made a big effort to make crazy people like you, and you partially succeeded. Keep it up!
Pawlenty third in straw poll of GOP presidential contenders
By Eric Roper, Star Tribune
September 19, 2009
WASHINGTON – Gov. Tim Pawlenty finished third in a straw poll of potential GOP presidential contenders at a conservative conference in Washington Saturday, receiving only one vote less than second place finisher Mitt Romney.
The poll was one of the first tests of Pawlenty’s impact nationally as he continues to spread his message ahead of a possible presidential run in 2012. He received 73 – or 12 percent – of the 597 votes cast at the Values Voters Summit, hosted by the conservative Family Research Council.
Mike Huckabee was the overwhelming winner with 170 votes.
Pawlenty placed behind Romney, who had 74 votes, and just ahead of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin with 72 and Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., with 71.
“What this tells me is that those candidates that are articulating the values that are represented in this room here are still jockeying for position,” said Tony Perkins, president of the FRC.
When he spoke to the conference on Friday night, Pawlenty brought a room of about 2,000 people to its feet with applause several times in a speech packed with socially conservative rhetoric and criticism of the Obama administration.
Earlier in the day, however, about a dozen people interviewed leaving the straw poll all said Pawlenty was not their top choice. Many said he has name recognition but hasn’t adequately conveyed his views and platform.
Eben Conner from Maryland, a supporter of Mike Huckabee, said as he left the poll that Pawlenty could be his No. 2 choice because the governor supports limited government and opposes abortion and gay marriage.
“I’ve heard some of him, but not enough,” Conner said.
Other finishers included former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (40), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (28), former Senator Rick Santorum (15) and Rep. Ron Paul (13).
Any poll that gives a big win to Mike Huckbee for serious elected office is not grounded in any sort of reality.