Pawlenty plans to gauge national support for 2012 run


This could be our first sort-of confirmation that Gov. Tim Pawlenty plans to seriously consider a run for president in 2012. Not like we didn't already know it, but this report out of U.S. News and World Report gives us some anonymous confirmation from inside the Pawlenty bubble. Pawlenty has continuously said he has no plans following his term as governor.

According to a report on their blog, Washington Whispers (via), Pawlenty "associates" say he is planning to spend the next couple years traveling the country to gauge support for a run in 2012.

More from Washington Whispers:

The Republican, who is expected to play up his humble roots and past in a populist bid against President Obama, will decide in 2011 if there is enough of a base on which to build his campaign. Those close to "T-Paw" said that his focus is the presidency, not a vice presidential nomination or an effort to raise his name recognition en route to a bid in 2016. When Pawlenty made his decision to stick to just two terms, it was viewed as his opening move in the 2012 campaign. GOP officials believe that he is likely to face Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and others in the early primaries and caucuses if he decides to run.
According to Minnesota Public Radio analysis, Pawlenty doesn't exactly have the national support...yet.
An analysis of his campaign finance reports between 2001 and 2008 show that he raised most of his money in Minnesota. 20,000 of the 22,000 donations he received during that time period came from Minnesotans. In second place are Florida residents, but they only gave to Pawlenty 167 times. Pawlenty also didn't fare too well from the politically important states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. He received a total of 10 donations from those three states during that time period.