GOP presidential candidate Pawlenty on air in Iowa

AP News
Posted: Jun 21, 2011 3:02 PM
GOP presidential candidate Pawlenty on air in Iowa

Republican presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty plans to run the first television advertisement of the 2012 campaign by a GOP candidate.

His introductory spot is scheduled to begin Wednesday in several markets across Iowa.

The former Minnesota governor is using the commercial to build support for Iowa's leadoff caucuses next winter as well as the Iowa Republican Party's August straw poll in Ames, an early test of caucus support.

The ads are to run in six media markets that touch most Republican areas of the state, including Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. The cost of the ads are about $50,000, constituting a relatively small purchase and not a guarantee that many caucus-goers will see them. In 2008, roughly 120,000 Iowans attended the Republican caucuses, although state GOP officials estimate a higher turnout in 2012.

Pawlenty is less well-known than some of his rivals for the GOP nomination. He plans to spend roughly half of July in Iowa campaigning ahead of the Aug. 13 straw poll in Ames.