Let’s be honest, if Tim Pawlenty does not secure a first or second place finish in the Ames straw poll next week his campaign for president may never takeoff. Of course Michele Bachmann is a big hurdle to overcome, as the Wall Street Journal notes, but Team Pawlenty seems to be making the right moves in the Hawkeye State. The only question is: will it payoff? We’ll know next weekend.
The Hill’s Michael OBrien does a good job of framing the stakes for Pawlenty in Iowa:
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Pawlenty, either. His campaign faces perceived financial problems following a second quarter fundraising report that failed to meet expectations; some top aides are working for the Pawlenty campaign either for free, or for a meager salary.
To that end, the Pawlenty campaign’s poured thousands into radio and TV ads leading up to the straw poll, though those spots will come off the air days before the straw poll, so the campaign can focus its resources on turnout and the straw poll itself.
But Pawlenty still faces difficult hurdles in Iowa, namely the ascendancy of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R), a fellow Minnesotan who’s made a play for Tea Party voters by boasting of her promise to vote against any measure to raise the debt-ceiling. Bachmann’s presidential campaign will also be out in force in Ames.