On CNN this morning, Tim Pawlenty talked about his polling woes.
"Polls bounce around a little bit.
The Des Moines Register poll, which is a credible poll in Iowa, had us like in 6th or 7th place.
Now the preseason's over, and we've got to start showing progress, and I'm confident that we will when my message.... when my record of results gets out in Minnesota, we're going to do better. You'll see that in the poll numbers."
There are polls showing him doing better than 6th or 7th place in Iowa (e.g. here and here), but if you notice, he mentions the bad one.
That's lowering expectations and, most crucially, it's the chance to say that progress is being made if you only jump to third or fourth.