Tim Pawlenty quits US presidential race


Iowans watch former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) talk to news reporters before having Pawlenty sign their copies of his book, 'Courage to Stand,' in Ankeny, Iowa. On August 14, 2011, Pawlenty announced he will end his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.


Chip Somodevilla

Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, on Sunday announced he is dropping out of the U.S. presidential race following a disappointing performance in the Iowa straw poll.

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.

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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."