Pawlenty Drops Out of Republican Race

Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, told supporters on a conference call Sunday morning that he is ending his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination after a disappointing third-place finish at the Iowa straw poll.

Mr. Pawlenty thanked his supporters in an early-morning call, two participants said, but acknowledged that he had decided overnight that his candidacy could not proceed.

Mr. Pawlenty, who had been weighing a presidential campaign for years, had developed a robust plan to win the party’s nomination. But his strategy did not take into account the rising popularity of a fellow Minnesotan, Representative Michele Bachmann, whose candidacy had overshadowed Mr. Pawlenty’s. He had staked his entire campaign around a strong finish at the Iowa straw poll, which he did not achieve.

Ms. Bachmann topped the straw poll on Saturday, edging out Representative Ron Paul of Texas. Mr. Pawlenty was a distant third.

It was an ironic and sudden end to the presidential candidacy of a former two-term governor, who had once talked about bypassing the straw poll. But a poor showing at a debate two months ago made him change his mind, associates said, and left him no choice but to throw everything into the straw poll.

On the morning conference call, a participant said, he did not say whether he intended to endorse another candidate.