Republican Pawlenty betting it all on Iowa -

Republican Pawlenty betting it all on Iowa

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Republican Tim Pawlenty has made it official. 

The former Minnesota governor announced his presidential candidacy in an Internet video released Sunday evening and plans to discuss his bid Monday when he visits Iowa.  

He's betting it all on the state's leadoff caucuses. 

The little-known Midwesterner hopes an Iowa victory gives him a boost into next-up New Hampshire and beyond. 

His strategy carries potential benefits and risks.  

If he wins Iowa, Pawlenty could emerge as the chief rival to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who lost the GOP nomination in 2008 and ranks high in polls this year. If Pawlenty falls short in Iowa, however, he'll have to reevaluate the viability of his bid for the Republican nomination, despite the two years' groundwork he's laid in his neighboring state.  

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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