Pawlenty isn't convinced Romney will win Minnesota
February 1, 2012 — 6:00pm
By Baird Helgeson
Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday could not guarantee that GOP presidential front-runner Mitt Romney would win the Minnesota caucuses next week.
In a conference call hours before Romney's scheduled visit to Eagan, Pawlenty said the low turnout of the state's caucuses make predictions difficult.
"I think he will do well, but I certainly can't predict who will win," said Pawlenty, who became Romney's campaign co-chairman after dropping out of the presidential race after the Iowa caucuses.
The former Massachusetts governor is coming off a strong win in a bitterly contested Florida primary, clearly establishing himself as the front-runner. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and Texas Rep. Ron Paul are also vying for the GOP nomination.
Pawlenty said Gingrich has a long history visiting the state and Paul's grassroots supporters could give him a much stronger finish than his last-place poll numbers indicate.
In 2008, Romney crushed Sen. John McCain in the Minnesota caucuses 41 percent to 22 percent. McCain went on to win the nomination.
Amid reports that Donald Trump was in danger of not getting on Minnesota's presidential ballot, the Trump campaign says everything is in order and voters will have a chance to cast their ballot for him in November.
Interest groups spent less slightly money lobbying state government in 2015 than in the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
Hillary Clinton vigorously defended her family's foundation against Donald Trump's criticism on Friday and declared she's confident there will be no major further accusations involving the foundation, her emails or anything else that could undermine her chances of defeating him in November.