(CNN) - Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is discovering that laying the ground work for a presidential run can take a political toll back home.
According to a new survey from Minnesota Public Radio and the Humphrey Institute, 54 percent of Minnesotans aren't too keen on the governor's frequent out of state trips, which usually include visits to important presidential nominating states. Only 31 percent of voters approve of his busy travel schedule.
In even worse news for Pawlenty, Minnesota Republicans apparently would prefer Mitt Romney as their presidential choice than their own governor.
Stacked up against Romney, Pawlently loses 45-32 percent. In a matchup against Sarah Palin, Pawlenty comes out on top 59-24 percent.
The poll surveyed 750 likely voters between August 25-29 and carries a sampling error of plus or minus 5.3 percentage points.
Pawlenty – widely believed to be an all-but-announced presidential candidate, made news Tuesday when he issued an executive order that directs Minnesota state agencies and departments not seek federal grants under the health care measure, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama this spring.
Pawlenty told reporters earlier Tuesday that the new law, which was a top priority for the White House and congressional Democrats, is a "misguided piece of legislation," and added that "anything that I can do to slow down, limit or negate Obamacare, I'm going to try to do it within reason."
Surveys indicate that the health care law is extremely unpopular with Republicans. According to the most recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 83 percent of Republicans oppose the measure.