Pawlenty downplays poor Iowa showing

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) on Monday downplayed a weekend poll showing him trailing other Republican candidates in Iowa, despite his concentrated efforts there.

Pawlenty said he wasn't bothered by this weekend's Iowa Poll, which showed he was the choice of just 6 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers.

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"These early polls aren't a good predictor of how the race is going to come out," Pawlenty said during an appearance on NBC's "Today" show.

 "There's still plenty of time to do well in Iowa and beyond," he added.

Still, the poll reflected a disappointing result for Pawlenty, who launched his campaign in Iowa and has been campaigning in the state neighboring his native Minnesota for well over a year.

Pawlenty launched his first television ad there last week and launched a new radio ad in the state starting on Monday. That TV ad, though, went on air in the Hawkeye State after the Des Moines Register poll was in the field. Pawlenty said Monday that those ads were just the beginning of a sustained media campaign.

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) led the poll at 23 and 22 percent, respectively, followed by former pizza magnate Herman Cain at 10 percent and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) each at 7 percent.

"Iowans are wise folks — they make up their minds late in the process, and there's a long road ahead," Pawlenty said on CBS's "Early Show."