(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."
Great once the TEA party fully realizes they made a mistake by supporting Palin we may be able to finally rid ourselves of her.
If all this Palin/Romney election stuff is bad enough now with the election 2 years away, how bad is it going to get 1 year from now? I think I may just have to take an oath to not click on anything with Palin, 2012, or Romeny in the title for at least 6 months. It's already unbearable and pointless.
P.S. Can't wait to see Republicans eating their own during the presidential primaries!
Oh well – I was hoping for grandma mama gizzly Sarah
You're the greatest gift the democrats could have ever gotten keep on spewing hate and representing the GOP
Maybe she's not putting out.
Not a suprise...she should not be the front runner for any party. The only reason she should be paid attention to is to ensure she does not get put in charge of anything remotely affecting our nation's policies.
Don't worry, Sarah!
Just blame it on the media like you always do!
Even dumb Tea Bagger's know Sarah Plain is an idiot.
This isn't 'shocking' at all.
Sarah Palin is one of the worst politicians I've ever heard of.
And the reason she's falling behind is because Sarah Palin doesn't even know the definition of a solution. She never provides solutions – she just likes to get people amped up.
Sarah will always be the "Back Room Office worker" – not the leader.
Here's why –
"People ultimately looking for solutions beyond the rhetoric," "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."
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."
Even the Tea Baggers see that Sara Palin doesn't have Common sense to go with all the Rhetoric! She just need to go home and some time with her family who needs her.
really, you are surprised by this?
A day late and a dollar short, teabaggers. Where were you 10 years ago? Oh, yeah, under a rock. Crawl back and shut the fk up.
Thats because Real T-Partiers know that BOTH so-called 'parties' are corrupt to the core...Palin included, I can say this even though i do agree with her on some things.
Vote the ALL out...It's the only way
Please Ron...Run Again
Most Tea baggers are well educated. They understand Sarah is not qualified for the position. Just few of them come to rallies to see her and the Express bus!
I don't see how Ms Palin could be the favorite in any poll unless it was a poll for the biggest joke in politics.
The Tea Party really is a diverse group..
Besides a strong showing of bigots, they're well represented by sexists. Sorry Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle – you're great at spouting rightwingnut soundbites, but you're second class amongst 'conservatives'.
oh plz run , newt america needs u , who would vote for this nazi sob.
So they are backing away from Palin ??? Romney hasn't done much of anything for the Tea Party. Now I am beginning to believe that this whole MOVEMENT ????? has been a front constructed by the GOP in order to through vicious and nasty accusitions towards the Dems., while trying to keep the GOP pure and clean of all the mud flying about.
I swear CNN always says anything about Sarah Palin is shocking. It is obvious that this organization does not like her because CNN is a liberal organization just as much as FOX leans right. Give us a break CNN do you really think that the average Joe and Sarah Palin really give a hoot.
Dear CNN: Polling your above average and educated readers about wacky quitter Sarah Palin and the delusional, anti-American Tea Partiers is like asking a vegetarian how they like their steak done.
This just in: polling stupid people results in stupid poll results. Story at 11.
Regardless of whether she runs or not, she is going to be a king and queen maker and make a lot of money – the true sources of political power in this country.
She wud b better as a thorn in any administrations side, D or R.