Pawlenty ended his bid to become the Republican candidate in the 2012 presidential election after a third-place finish in Saturday's straw poll, which was won by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who edged out Rep. Ron Paul from Texas.
Pawlenty announced his withdrawl from the GOP race on ABC's "This Week," shortly after discussing his plans in a private conference call with supporters.
"I wish it would have been different. But obviously the pathway forward for me doesn't really exist so we are going to end the campaign," he said in his television appearance, the Associated Press reports.
In the closely watched Iowa straw poll, Pawlenty finished third with nearly 13.57 percent of the 16,892 ballots cast. Michele Bachmann, who won the contest, earned 28.55 percent of the votes, narrowly beating Ron Paul, who won 27.65 percent of the votes.
Pawlenty was initially expected to be a strong challenger to Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney, but his campaign failed to gain momentum, CBS News says.
The former governor had admitted that Saturday’s straw poll would be a crucial result for his campaign.
"I thought I would have made a great president, but obviously that pathway isn't there," Pawlenty said, according to the AP. "I do believe we're going to have a very good candidate who is going to beat Barack Obama."