Pawlenty remains popular despite campaign trips

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — More than half of Minnesotans surveyed in the latest Star Tribune Minnesota Poll said Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty is doing a good job.

The governor received an approval rating of 54 percent. That’s unchanged over the summer — despite the time he spent on the road campaigning for Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

The poll also showed Pawlenty’s disapproval rating dropped to 31 percent, a 6 percent fall from four months ago, when he received his highest disapproval rating as governor.

Pawlenty did best among people 65 and older and those between the ages of 18 to 34, the poll said. He had a 59 percent approval rating among those groups. For those ages 45 to 64, 38 percent said they disapproved of his job performance.


The telephone survey of 1,201 Minnesota adults, conducted last Wednesday through Friday, has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Other notable findings:

  • Pawlenty had a 60 percent approval rating among those earning $30,000 to $49,999.
  • In outstate Minnesota, 63 percent liked his job performance. In the seven-county metro area, his job approval rating was 48 percent.
  • White evangelicals gave him a 68 percent job approval rating.

"He hasn’t raised taxes to speak of," Mildred Schroeder of Caledonia, a poll respondent who approved of Pawlenty’s performance, told the Star Tribune . "He kept his word on that part."
Schroeder added that Pawlenty, often mentioned as a possible running mate to McCain, would have been a better choice for VP than Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

But others disagreed. Roberta Griggs of Apple Valley, said the governor spent too much time "hyping for McCain" at the expense of Minnesota issues.

"Actually, I was scared to death he was going to get it," said Griggs, "because then we’d be left with (Lt. Gov. Carol) Molnau as our governor."

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