Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) is in South Carolina on Tuesday and Wednesday to help raise funds for GOP candidates in the key primary state.

The governor and potential 2012 Republican presidential candidate will be in the Palmetto State for fundraisers and meetings, including a likely sit-down with Nikki Haley, the Republican candidate for governor who's gained a growing national profile.

Pawlenty will be doing a fundraiser for the South Carolina Republican Party on Tuesday evening at the home of state party Chairwoman Karen Floyd. He'll also help raise funds on Wednesday morning for Mick Mulvaney, the Republican challenging Rep. John Spratt (D), the powerful chairman of the House Budget Committee.

The Minnesota governor is also expected to meet with Haley, who emerged last week from a bruising primary for the Republican nomination for governor. Pawlenty said last week that his political action committee would be supporting Haley this fall.

Building support in South Carolina is key for Pawlenty, given the state's traditional status as the third presidential nominating contest in the primary challenge. The Minnesota Republican has also made a number of visits to Iowa and New Hampshire, the two states ahead of South Carolina in the 2012 sequence, and has sought to build a political base in all three states.