Pawlenty downplays need to win Iowa straw poll

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republican presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty says he doesn't have to win the upcoming Iowa straw poll to come out of that contest with momentum for his campaign.

The Iowa Straw poll on Saturday in Ames is an early test of candidate popularity and organization.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Pawlenty says his campaign must show some progress but doesn't have to beat all rivals in the straw poll. The former Minnesota governor says the real objective of his Iowa campaign remains the statewide caucuses that begin the GOP nominating process.

Pawlenty has been building his presidential campaign for well over a year, but he has struggled in his effort to rise in national and statewide polls.