(CNN) – She's appeared at Tea Party rallies across the country and long been considered the movement's de facto leader, but a new CNN poll out Friday suggests Sarah Palin isn't the group's clear favorite for the White House.
According to the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney comes in No. 1 among Tea Party supporters with 22 percent, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is second with 19 percent, and the former Alaska governor holds the No. 3 spot with 17 percent of support from the fiscally conservative group.
Full results (PDF)
Given the poll's 7-point margin of error, all three politicos are statistically tied. But while the fact that Palin – arguably the movement's most visible advocate – isn't head and shoulders above the rest of the field may cause a few heads to turn, the numbers are more a reflection of the diversity of the movement, according to Republican consultant Leslie Sanchez.
"Sarah Palin amplifies the concern among many Tea Party voters in the sense of runaway federal government, out of control unchecked spending, and a growing federal deficit," Sanchez said. "But with that said, the story that's rarely told is how diverse the Tea Party is."
Indeed, 52 percent of Republicans say they are active members of the movement in the new CNN poll, compared to 27 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats who pledge support to the grassroots organizations.
Still, few national Republicans have appeared at as many tea party-backed events as Palin has, and members of the movement have repeatedly greeted the former presidential nominee with breathless support when she speaks before them.
So just why isn't Palin the clear Tea Party favorite for president?
"They're ultimately looking for solutions beyond the rhetoric," says Sanchez. "There is no doubt Palin engages the base, she amplifies their message. But in the long run, it's going to be who has the best solutions and can sustain a common sense approach to fixing government."
If Palin has a shot at the White House then Obama should make sure to take the flag down before he leaves: Our country will have gone to Hell.
This is consistent with the fact that Tea party is about small government more pro-business and more capitalistic government, and not the other side issues the Democrats are throwing at them! It also shows the party has diversified opinions and not the most currently visible is everyone's choice!
Awwwww – and her very "intelligent" baby-makin' daughter thinks she's saving the U.S.A. from "those people" in the white house.
No respect. All those trips that didn't cost the taxpayers any money, and she still gets no respect.
Repeating the question lends validity to the idea that Sarah Palin deserves attention. She does not. Report more, sensationalize and publicize LESS please. More investigative journalism, less "Xtra".
The quitter from Wasilla ....oooh moma grisly... she might refudiate the vote and ask for a recount. Too bad she's not in Florida where good ole Jeb could have the FBI or CIA falsify the 2012 election.
Of course they did that in 2000, to keep the country safe you see.
Most conservatives that I know never wanted Palin to be president (2008 election), but were OK with her as VP. Even liberals have to admit that she is much better than the kooky Mr. Biden.
Conservatives like her because she can relate to the average citizen. That said, most don't want her to lead the country.
I'm pushing for Romney, so that we can fix the economy. Romney in 2012.
Sarah Palin doesn't have a chance in hell of becoming POTUS.
Even the crazy Tea Partyers aren't crazy enough to think Palin is qualified and capable of being President.
The Tea Party won't accept Sarah Palin because she's a communist. As governor, she took money from oil companies and distributes it to the people of Alaska. State run welfare at the expense of business. Communism!
Common sense? Then how does newt even rate at all?
I'm guessing that Mrs. Palin just doesn't come to these Tea Party events for free...she's making some bucks off these folks for sure. Besides Sarah has given backing to Senator McCain and the Tea Party can't STAND him so there again is a difference of opinion. All it seems to take to rile this bunch up is to say negative things about Obama and the Democrats, doesn't matter if it's true or not, and Sarah is a pro at spreading negative stuff. Yet even some of the teabaggers realize that when it comes to being POTUS Mrs. Palin is far from being an ideal choice.
Only idiots can support a lunatic such as palin.
The Tea Party is a dis-functional group of racists that if they get their way we will be going back 100+ years in our countries history. How can people be so prejudice, stupid and ignorant about America and Americans????
The teabaggers can't pull off a convention. Who cares about the moron minority?
The definition of a Tea Party – those who don't understand or completely disregard factual, logical information or common sense.
Sure she has a shot in 2012. At an Elk, Bear, maybe even a Possum.
If Sarah, acting on behalf of Alaska, were to stop that state's "contribution" to federal taxes, then we, the taxpayers would benefit. Given that Alaska receives benefits that greatly outweigh its tax burden, revoking the state's federal taxes would enrich the federal coffers.
Q - Does Palin have a chance in 2012?
Yes! If she is running as the brain-dead ex Gov from the frozen north.
She has about as much of a shot as she did in 2008.
I like Sarah Palin and her ideas and what she stands for. But I'm leaning more to Romney or Huckabee.
NO, NO, and HELL NO!
I am SO SICK OF SARAH PALIN! Why does everyone continue to give her so much attention. She is only good for the runway. She is political IGNORANT! I cant stand to hear her voice, her opinions, or suggestions!. She needs to be happy with being her husbands boss, and focus on her children, who apparently off the hook!
I am so tired of reading about something tht Palin did and said. I am sick to death of her. Please stop putting her in the news because as far as I'm concerned she is NOT news worthy.
Please let's report news that is important.
Sure, she's got a shot! Go ahead, Republicans – run her! Please do it! Oh, and keep putting a lot of stock in the Tea Party, too. Don't believe what anybody tells you – they're actually a HUGE group, really huge! You should count on them a lot! And run Palin! I know that she doesn't rate very well in the polls, but don't believe them - they're written by the DEVIL! And you BELIEVE in the devil, right?
Yep, you should definitely run Palin. That would be a GOOD idea.
any of these three would fulfill the Tea Party message. And none of them are electable. Case closed...move on to solutions thank-you very much.
Even the teabaggers know that there is no way in hell Sarah Palin could win a national election, she is one of the most hated women in America.