Tim Pawlenty told supporters in a conference call this morning that he would be leaving the presidential race. “We needed a boost from Ames that didn’t happen,” he said, according to CNN.
Pawlenty placed a distant third at the Ames Straw Poll, getting half as many votes as Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul each received.
UPDATE: Pawlenty officially announced the news on ABC this morning.
“I’m going to be ending my campaign for president,” Pawlenty said. “I wish it would have been different, but obviously the path way forward for me doesn’t really exist.”
The campaign, he conceded, had needed “traction or lift” from the Ames results in order to keep fundraising.
Pawlenty said that his message of being a two-term conservative governor in a blue state with a strong record hadn’t resonated the way he had hoped it would.
He said he doesn’t know what’s next for him beyond spending the next couple of days taking his daughter to college.