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VP Pawlenty Meter: Minnesota governor slips from frontrunner to also-ran

Will Governor Tim Pawlenty become our nation's next vice president? It's hard to keep track of all the many factors at play. Each week, the VP Pawlenty Meter (TM) provides an odds sheet to ensure you make your best bet.

In just a matter of weeks, T-Paw has fallen from the prohibitive favorite to an also ran who didn't even show up at the cool kids' barbecue. It's not that Pawlenty has badly stumbled--his worst sin was a slightly off-color joke about his wife refusing to sleep with him--but it seems that the longer the GOP establishment looks at Minnesota governor, the less they like him. Here's why:

This Washington Post article says Pawlenty is unlikely to win Minnesota, saying its a myth that the VP often carries his home state:

More often, though, the No. 2 either fails to carry his or her home state or simply isn't chosen with such hopes in mind in the first place. Of this year's Democratic contenders, only Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland promises to nab a battleground state for Sen. Barack Obama. On the Republican side, not even Tim Pawlenty, Minnesota's moderate but little-known governor, seems likely to shore up that swing state for the GOP.

This Republican blog comes to much the same conclusion:

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Tim Pawlenty - Governor of Minnesota. Republicans don’t have much of chance of winning MN, not even with the help of their Governor. Pawlenty was barely re-elected, so McCain’s chances would still be slim. Although he might bring a little youth, this seems to be a very unlikely candidate when you put the facts together.

And this recent poll by National Journal Magazine finds Pawlenty's stock with GOP insiders slipping badly since February:

For these reasons, we are lowering the VP Pawlenty Meter to Blue.