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Public Policy Polling (PPP), a Democratic polling firm, plans to drop former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty from the list of GOP candidates that it regularly polls in a direct match-up against President Barack Obama, The Daily Caller reported earlier tonight.

The former Minnesota governor is being dropped from the general election polling as a result of his relatively poor showing in PPP‘s latest poll scheduled for release later this week, said Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling.

Pawlenty, who’s apparently now running eighth among the Republican presidential contenders, will be replaced by Texas Gov. Rick Perry who is polling at 12% nationally, Jensen told The Daily Caller.  PPP only polls the top five candidates in its national polling.

“Who gets polled in general election match-ups is determined by the standings for the GOP primary since ostensibly the people who do best in the GOP primary have the best chance of ending up as Obama’s opponent,” explained Jensen.

Pawlenty’s name will still be included in the polling of Republican primary voters.

Once considered a top-tier candidate for the Republican nomination, Pawlenty’s poll numbers have dropped dramatically in recent days. Last week, an American Research Group poll conducted in neighboring Iowa — site of the first-in-the-nation caucuses — showed Pawlenty languishing at 2%.

On Monday, a South Carolina survey conducted by the same polling firm showed the former Minnesota governor, registering less than one percent of the vote among likely Republican primary voters, trailing long-shot hopefuls Rick Santorum and Buddy Roemer, both of whom are polling 2% in that early primary state.

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