Poll: Most Minnesotans oppose Pawlenty presidential bidThe Star Tribune Minnesota Poll conducted last week found 55 percent against Pawlenty running for president, with 30 percent in favor, but half of Minnesotans said they would consider voting for him if he were nominated.
By: Associated Press,
ST. PAUL — The prospect of Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty as a presidential candidate is getting a cool reception in his home state, according to a poll released Tuesday.
The Star Tribune Minnesota Poll found that 55 percent don’t want to see the two-term governor run for president in 2012. Even so, the newspaper reported that half of the poll respondents said they would consider voting for Pawlenty if he becomes the GOP nominee.
The poll of 1,000 Minnesota adults was conducted Sept. 21-24 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.
Pawlenty has been traveling the country speaking to GOP audiences about the party’s future since he ruled out seeking re-election in June. He is preparing to start a national fundraising committee, another sign that he may be positioning himself for a presidential campaign.
Thirty percent of those polled said they want to see Pawlenty try for the White House, while 15 percent said they didn’t know or refused to answer the question.
If Pawlenty were to head a GOP ticket in three years, Minnesotans were split on whether he would get their votes. A quarter of those polled said there was a “good chance” he would, and another 25 percent said there was “some chance.” Forty-three percent said “no chance.”
The poll also found a 49 percent job approval rating for the governor, about the same as in April. But his disapproval rating has risen to a new high of 38 percent.
Speaking to reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday, Pawlenty said his approval rating has held up relatively well compared with ratings for other governors in the wake of the recession. He referred questions about a potential presidential run to his political spokesman, Alex Conant.
Conant said the governor is focused on helping Republicans win elections in 2010, and 2012 is too far off.
“That said, the fact that half of a state that just elected (Sen.) Al Franken would consider voting for Governor Pawlenty is a testament to his leadership,” Conant said.
The survey also looked at Franken, a Democrat who took office in July after an eight-month contested election. Franken’s approval rating was 41 percent, with 30 percent still undecided on his performance.