Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty ended his campaign for the Republican nomination for president Sunday morning, citing disappointment with his performance in the Iowa straw poll. He finished third in that vote, behind fellow Minnesotan Michele Bachmann and Rep. Ron Paul. Observers mark Pawlenty’s failure to stand up to party rival Mitt Romney in a June debate as a reason for his poor showing in Iowa. –ARK

The New York Times:

Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, dropped his bid for the Republican nomination for president on Sunday morning, saying his disappointing performance in Iowa’s straw poll convinced him that his campaign had run its course.

… Mr. Pawlenty, who had been weighing a presidential campaign for years, had developed a robust plan to win the Republican nomination. But his strategy did not take into account the rising popularity of a fellow Minnesotan, Representative Michele Bachmann, whose candidacy had overshadowed Mr. Pawlenty’s. He had staked his entire campaign around a strong finish at the Iowa straw poll, which he did not achieve.

… It was a sudden end to the presidential candidacy of a former two-term governor, who had once talked about bypassing the straw poll. But a poor showing at a debate two months ago made him change his mind, associates said, and left him with no choice but to throw everything into the straw poll.

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