A SurveyUSA poll of Minnesotans released Thursday showed that 57 percent of voters said that Pawlenty shouldn't run for a third term in 2010.
41 percent of voters supported a third term for the incumbent Republican, while two percent were undecided.
For Pawlenty, a run for the governorship again could mean a sustained presence in political office before the 2012 presidential elections. It could also signal a deferred interest in seeking the top office until the 2016, so as to avoid going toe-to-toe with President Obama.
The prerecorded telephone poll of 500 adults, conducted May 11, has a 4.4 percent margin of error.