Obama thumps Pawlenty in new statewide poll

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Gov. Tim Pawlenty is out of town a lot these days. Way out of town. Iowa. Florida. New York. Washington, D.C. He even left a wounded deer in the field so he could jet off for a political speech for Republicans. And did we mention the political action committee, and the big wet kiss from The Economist? Not running for president yet, though. Just helping the GOP anywhere he can. He says.

But does he need to shore up his home base, as opposed to, you know, the base base? Maybe. Take a look at this -- admittedly way too early -- poll from St. Cloud State University: In a 2012 head-to-head race, those surveyed said Obama would beat Pawlenty 49 percent to 40 percent.

​Is a peek this far into the future worth anything? Maybe. Maybe not. But it's worth considering this point: What does it say about Pawlenty that the voters who know him the best are not ready to give him the nod for the White House? It's not as if those people in the survey don't know Obama, after all.

The poll of 550 people was conducted between Oct. 26 and Nov. 4. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points. You can read the full results and the methodology here. (It's an interesting look at the time and effort put into such projects.)


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