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This morning on “Fox News Sunday”, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty sat down with Chris Wallace to discuss his chances in Iowa and the state of the race running up to the Ames Straw Poll.

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Watch the full interview below.

Report from Fox News:

Winning the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames on Saturday would be a feather in the cap of any Republican presidential candidate, but Tim Pawlenty said Sunday it’s not a do-or-die for his candidacy.

Setting expectations low, the former Minnesota governor told “Fox News Sunday” he’s “going to show good progress” for his efforts to woo voters in the Hawkeye State’s first major test of a candidate’s viability and organization. But the “ultimate objective” is to keep building momentum for next year.

“The proof will be in the pudding,” Pawlenty said. “I think we’re going to do well in Ames. I don’t think we have to win it. We have to show progress. But then we’ll be in position to win those caucuses next January or February, and that’s the ultimate objective here.”

The Iowa Straw poll on Saturday comes two days after the major Republican candidates participate in a debate sponsored by Fox News and The Washington Examiner.

Pawlenty, who’s now running third in the Des Moines Register poll behind Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has been building his presidential campaign for well over a year, and has spent 42 days in Iowa, holding 102 events.

But being a distant third behind Bachmann and Romney has forced him to cast aside his “Minnesota nice” image and take on Bachmann, a fellow Minnesotan. On Sunday, he seemingly compared the Tea Party favorite to President Obama.

Pawlenty will be looking to make a strong stand in the August 11th debate hoping to break out of the pack. He’ll have a tough time but it could be make or break as to whether he can get out of Bachmann’s shadow and begin challenging Romney again.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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