Scroll To Top

Pawlenty Quits Republican Presidential Contest

Pawlenty Quits Republican Presidential Contest


Former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty abandoned his bid for the Republican presidential nomination Sunday after a disappointing third-place finish in the Iowa straw poll despite spending heavily on the contest.

Pawlenty garnered 2,293 votes in the Ames contest, compared to 4,823 for his home state rival Rep. Michele Bachmann, who won the straw poll dominated by socially conservative Republican voters with 4,823 votes, only 200 more than second-place finisher Rep. Ron Paul of Texas. Pawlenty had spent a considerable amount of time, resources and money in Iowa, making it all the more challenging for him to continue after the lackluster placement.

"Candidates who go all-in but fall well short in Ames typically find it difficult to raise money, and without personal wealth to fall back on, Mr. Pawlenty decided to cut his losses and bow out," reports the The Christian Science Monitor. "In addition, the entry of Texas Gov. Rick Perry into the race Saturday, combined with Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann's victory in the straw poll, has shifted the focus to their expected battle for the hearts and minds of conservatives."

Pawlenty initially refused to sign a pledge against marriage equality from the National Organization for Marriage, but earlier this month he reversed course and signed the document. The pledge, also signed by Bachmann, Mitt Romney, and Rick Santorum, calls on candidates to make same-sex marriage a litmus test for judicial nominations, allow a referendum on the marriage equality law in the District of Columbia, uphold the Defense of Marriage Act, and create a "presidential commission on religious liberty." Pawlenty did not sign a similar pledge from the Family Leader in Iowa, which garnered signatures from Bachmann and Santorum.

Santorum positioned himself as the most aggressive fighter against marriage equality in advance of the Iowa straw poll, even pledging to "come to the states and fight" against laws like the kind passed by the New York legislature in June. Despite his relatively small organization in Iowa, the former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania finished fourth in the straw poll with 1,657 votes, enough for him to justify continuing his campaign, although the momentum of Bachmann and the emergence of Perry would seem to pose challenges in the competition for Christian conservative voters.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Julie Bolcer