Why Tim Pawlenty Should Have Stayed in the Race

This doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but the latest Gallup survey of Republican voters shows Georgia businessman Herman Cain leading the pack with a high positive intensity score. Cain scores 29 on the positive intensity score, a measure of how much voters like a particular candidate. He leads Mitt Romney by 17 points—a sign of Romney’s low favorability among GOP voters—and beats Rick Perry by 23 points. What’s more, Cain is the only candidate whose rating has gone up since entering the race. Here’s Gallup with more:

It’s interesting to note that before he left the race in August, former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty had a fairly decent positive intensity score—about 13 points—that would have improved as Rick Perry’s star dimmed and conservative voters scrambled for a new alternative to the former Massachusetts governor. Indeed, as The New Republic’s Isaac Choitner points out, “Were he still running, Tim Pawlenty would have a better chance than everyone else (minus Romney and perhaps Perry) of winning.” What Pawlenty lacked in excitement, he more than made up with in competence. His only problem was money, and that would have come as he established himself as the chief competitor to Romney.