Jill Lawrence reports that Tim Pawlenty is betting a lot on the August 13 Ames, Iowa straw poll.
Pawlenty has budgeted $1.75 million for the straw poll, according to a Republican consultant familiar with the Pawlenty campaign.
That’s a major commitment, comparable to what George W. Bush and Steve Forbes spent in 1999 to place first and second ($1.1 million and $1.9 million, respectively, in today’s dollars).
The money could help, if it was there to spend. “They clearly don’t have it. So in the end I’m not sure how they’re going to implement their straw-poll strategy,” the consultant said.
“I know so many of the vendors who aren’t getting paid. They are holding back so many bills.” And that’s on top of a Washington Post report last week that several aides are working without pay.
Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant called the information about the straw poll “inaccurate,” but declined to specify if he means the campaign’s straw-poll budget or whether there’s money to back it up.
Yesterday, Pawlenty downgraded expectations, telling an Iowa radio station that he didn't need to win the straw poll but merely "do well and show some progress."