Tim Pawlenty second in Arizona tea party poll

Tim Pawlenty, tea party hero
Tim Pawlenty, tea party hero
Matt Visionquest

All his threats about pushing gays back into the closet, shutting down the federal government, busting unions, and insulting the president seem to finally be paying off for Tim Pawlenty.

He keynoted a steeped-in-tea confab over the weekend in Arizona called the American Policy Summit, and convention-goers rewarded him with second place in their straw poll.

We like to think his hilariously over-the-top movie trailers played a role, too.

The guy who won is a businessman named Herman Cain, who made millions by founding Godfather's Pizza and now has a radio show.

Pawlenty swung hard for the right-field fence in his Saturday speech:

Tim Pawlenty wooed the tea party this weekend in Arizona.
Tim Pawlenty wooed the tea party this weekend in Arizona.
Matt Visionquest

"I'm here today to say, 'Thank you.' Thank you for standing up to the ruling class. Thank you for standing up to the liberal power brokers, guardians of the status quo, and the royal triangle of greed: big government, big unions, and big bailed-out businesses."

That kind of talk placed him higher than Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and the day's big loser, Michele Bachmann, the queen of the tea party:

1. Radio host and former businessman Herman Cain: 22 percent
2. Former Minnesota Republican governor Tim Pawlenty: 16 percent
3. Texas Congressman Ron Paul: 15 percent
4. Former Alaska Republican governor Sarah Palin: 10 percent
5. Former Massachusetts Republican governor Mitt Romney: 6.5 percent
6. Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann: 5.6 percent

Last week, Gallup released a national poll of Republican voters suggesting that while T-Paw and Bachmann are favorites in some conservative circles, it's a different story when a broader cross section of primary voters comes into play. In that poll, Bachmann scored 4 percent support, Pawlenty 3 percent.

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