A positive sign for candidate Pawlenty.
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty remains little-known beyond his home state, but he has begun to line up wealthy donors, a critical constituency.
Even as he draws low single-digit support in early polls, Mr. Pawlenty has amassed a substantial roster of well-connected GOP donors and fund-raisers in his quest for the Republican presidential nomination.
Their preference for Mr. Pawlenty could pose a challenge to his GOP rival, Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who has used experience as a 2008 candidate and background as a private-equity investor to build what is widely regarded as the largest network of high-impact fund-raisers in the 2012 contest. It also illustrates the ambivalence among elite GOP donors over which Republican is best suited to face President Barack Obama next year.
But while Mr. Pawlenty potentially may have broad appeal, he hasn’t yet generated the deep intensity or enthusiasm that Mr. Paul, Ms. Bachmann or former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee have generated among their supporters.