After a decidedly lackluster performance at the straw poll on Saturday, where he came in a distant third behind a near-tie between Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty has called it quits on his bid for the White House. The AP first broke the news that Pawlenty told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he would announce on ABC's "This Week." Later, on CNN reported that on "This Week," Pawlenty said that his campaign needed a lift in the straw poll, and that didn't happen. "Obviously the pathway forward for me doesn't really exist, and so we're going to end the campaign," he added. Moreover, he also said that being a vice presidential contender was "not something I'm even going to consider."
People like to call the straw poll meaningless, but for some candidates, clearly it can be a make or break moment. The poll was a test of organizational strength and popularity in the state whose caucuses lead off the Republican nomination fight. And Pawlenty wished he had fared better. He told Jake Tapper: “I wish it would have been different."
According to ABC News political reporter Michael Falcone, when asked if Pawlenty dropping out would change her strategy, Michele Bachmann replied, "Obama is my strategy." But Herman Cain (still going strong) tweeted: "I wish Governor Pawlenty the best. Of the many candidates, he was one of the kindest in the race." That's seems like as good a note as any to end on.