Can Tim Pawlenty Win Minnesota?
This shouldn’t be surprising. In his two successful bids for governor, Pawlenty has received 46 percent and 47 percent of the vote. The reason? Minnesota’s Independence Party, which elected Gov. Jesse Ventura in 1998 but usually acts as a spoiler, typically for the Democrats. And since edging toward a presidential bid, Pawlenty has made hard rhetorical shifts to the right — such as suggesting that health care reform might be unconstitutional — that have been ripped apart in state newspapers. In this, Pawlenty is similar to Mitt Romney — a success in his own state who would not be able to carry it after tacking hard right to become the GOP nominee.