Pawlenty's background as governor of blue-state Minnesota appeals to voters searching for chief executive experience, while Pawlenty points to a record of slowed government growth and no tax increases to attract fiscal conservatives.
His pitch thus far has cast him as a "Sam's Club" Republican, an appeal to working-class Republicans that have played an increasingly important role in the GOP primary, particularly in Midwestern Iowa.
The knock on Pawlenty thus far has been one less of substance than of style: The former governor is considered a relatively average speaker who has yet to inspire most conservatives. Those concerns have not dissipated after his early forays on the campaign trail failed to spark a corresponding bump in the polls.
Before his announcement Monday, Pawlenty will appear on NBC's Today on Monday morning.
Pawlenty will follow his stop in Iowa with a visit to Florida on Tuesday and an appearance in Washington on Wednesday.
Updated at 1:26 p.m.