(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."
I like the sign in the photo...Cut Spending, Not Deals.
It kinda sums up 2 of Obama's traits that turn off so many of us. He spends like the money supply is infinite and always seems to find a way to pay back liberal special interest groups every time he signs his name.
ARE TEA PARTY MEMBERS GETTING SMART?
If this poll is accurate, where Sarah Palin places third, it may indicate that the Tea Party types are getting smarter.
I prefer the stupid 'birther' Tea Party types, because they elect idiotic candidates like Rand Paul and Sharon Angle.
First time Tea party understood something till long way to go
Saras no fun I hear she spikes the tea with apple juice .
just look at the faces ona previous article.......PATHETIC as one blogger put it........then again, why people think that that woman from alaska can do anything in elected office is further proof of the ignorant republicans or tea tards mentality in this country, she cannot speak by herself, write by herself and furthermore, think by herself and that angle woman in nevada, UGH and PHEW, followed by the mop head paul, boy, I can go on and on, but it makes me sick.......
OMG all three, Mitt, Newt and Sarah are nothing but Neo Conservatives, not one of these people believe in limited government or indivual freedom. So why does the Tea Party support them?
Who cares what the tea party of racism wants.
They are doing exactly what I want them to do. Put more loons up against and divide the rancid republican party of lies, wars, greed and deceit.
All of us "NORMAL" Americans are sick of the phonie outrage against the Blacks, Mexicans, Gays, Muslims, Unwed mothers, People who get abortions, etc. etc. etc.
Putting these crazies in office will only cause more infighting amongst the repubs who have destroyed so much for so long.
you do her a HUGE favor by elevating the nonsense that emanates from her mouth to the status of "rhetoric". defined closer to reality-it is just rediculous demagouguery.
They needed a set of hooters for display.
I meant to say this is a first. I do not know why Walter Reed let her on the grounds must less inside the building. She does not care for these soldiers. Her and her walk on water Muslim husband don't care for America.
I know that this probably shocks CNN who thinks the Tea Party is a bunch of cretins. Romney makes sense. He has executive experience and he understands the economy. Those are two things that the current occupant was lacking.
maybe these teabaggers actually do have a brain after all...
How exciting! Mitt, Sarah and Newt. Same old, same old Rethug rehashing. And one of these three is supposed to fix the economy, save the middle class and do it at light speed. Good luck on that! Just remember, it took ten years of Republican control to destroy the economy and the middle class. So now we are ready to turn over the reigns of power to this despicable party again. I don't think so!
Mitt Romney is a warmonger, just like GWB and half the Republican party. Vote for Romney and you can apologize to your kid when you visit their grave.
Typical bogus polling. CNN/Opinion Research can spin this into silk if they wish, but it isn't worth a hill of beans. Republican-lite (RINO) was tried before and failed. Colin Powell is a Republican-lite but voted for Obama. The Democrats will never again determine who our
nominee will be because they'll never vote for them anyway. This is the lesson we learned from 2008; millions of conservatives stayed home. And if you libs think that Sarah Palin hurt McCain's chances, the facts prove otherwise. McCain needed Palin at his campaign appearances to bring in the crowds. McCain/Palin poll numbers
went higher than Obama/Biden until the banking crisis in September.
Obama will not be the Democratic nominee in 2012 because he'll be forced to resign or pull out, due to the upcoming multiple investigations into his illegal activities. This will prove to be the most
corrupt administration in this country's history. You welfare slugs on the government dime will have to find a real job.
The only thing shocking about this poll is that 17 out of every 100 tea baggers are as stupid as she is.
All this poll shows is that Palin has LIMITED support out there among tea baggers and conservatives.
Flying around in private jets and getting $12,000,000 for a book deal and charging her so-called choices $100,000 a speech doesn't exactly qualify for average Joe or momma grizzly status in my book.
Palin is now one of the rich elite telling the rest of us how to live when she herself has lined her own nest by quitting her elected obligation and promise to run Alaska half way through. Why? So she could get the big bucks and massage her massive ego.
Palin will NEVER be president – it doesn't pay enough..
Palin serves a very useful purpose as an irritant, like a pin worm, but even these lunatics know she's not fit to govern.
Mitt, Mr. Mormon, oh that is rich. It seems like the only people who care about Palin is the media. She can't even get a top spot within her own ranks, that is hysterical.
And if this doesn't showcase the lunacy and idiocy of the Tea Party, what will?
Shocking? Maybe to the media who has handed her status that nobody on the real world actually gives her. Nobody watches her because she's some up and coming political force – they watch for the same reason they watch Rock of Love and Jersey Shore, just can't take their eyes of the train-wreck.
They're all big losers.
The other definition of the Tea Party – Those that put George Bush and Dick Cheney in office and now want the same or worse.
The fact is, we libertarians and tea party members would vote overwhelmingly for term limits and repealing the 17th Amendment before we'd vote to bless any career politician, Republican or otherwise.
True, I AM a political junkie, I get that... but even I shouldn't know the names, party affiliation, states, and district numbers of 50% of the 535 members of the House and Senate.
These people should be IN and OUT so fast, they don't even have a chance to make a name for themselves (good, bad or otherwise). Give 'em all eight years max (four two-year house terms and two four-year Senate terms MAX). SCOTUS justices, you each get 20 years and you're pushed out, too.
The founders never intended Washington as a place for liars, cheats, scoundrels, dirtbags, parasites and n'er-do-wells of ANY political persuasion to set up camp and lap eternal from the tax-payer trough. In fact, that idea was completely foreign to them. Come to Washington, do your eight years and go home. Period. And yes, that goes for my republicans, too.
As for Palin, you're making a bigger deal out of her than anyone in the tea party is. But I guess when CNN's ratings are dipping to MSNBC territory, you have to do something to scare up viewers.
I think the Tea Party has been mischaracterized. I see small groups of Tea Partiers at local intersections. They do not look like crazies at all, but like a small movement of concerned citizens that do not like the status quo.
The erosion of the promise of America has made some sort of Tea Party inevitable. Disgruntled colonists literally threw the tea into the harbor. A lot of us would like to throw our tax bills, our utility bills, our credit card bills and bank statements, all filled with taxes and fees for which we see little return. Some of us would like to throw our ballots, filled with foolish candidates with a lot of words and few accomplishments in with the tax and other bills.
The truth is, dissent is not wrong. A lot of establishment politicians and media with vested interests in the way things are have forgotten the way they were, when America was young, and the way they need to be again. Dissent is necessary. So is real change.