(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."
The only people who don't understand that Palin is irrelevant are the people at CNN who write 5-6 stories a day about her.
Mitt Romney at #1? He was the one who got what the ultra right wing calls Obamacare passed in MA. He is also a Mormon, not exactly what you would call a Southern Baptist. I think the teapartiers are a bit confused about what they want.
Blah, blah, blah, teabggers, teabaggers, teabaggers, Phailin, Phailin, Phailin, Beck, Beck, Beck, blah, blah, blah ........
Just getting real tired of all the negative garbage.
Sarah Palin is the frontrunner for self serving interest only, MONEY. As powerful and important that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton she has yet to run around the country pandering for money and writing books. Sarah and her husband Todd both had jobs, quit their jobs despite having children to support and pandered for money. Neither believe in education or hard work because they have found an easy way out to make money and that's you the public. Why work when you can pander for money.
The only people that continue to contend that Palin is the "de facto" leader of the Tea Party are the liberal media. She is a visible person that happens to agree with some of the sentiments shared by a majority of the people that identify with the philosophy the Tea Party supports. There is no "leader", that is the whole point, these are people that are tired of having decrees handed down to them from a central authority which portends to have all the answers. Just because someone gives a speech that does not make them your leader.
Why on this green earth can't the Republicans find a credible candidate for the CIC? Romney, Gingrich, and Palin?
Is Sarah running? If so, would she be running an the "Tea Party" ticket or the Republican?
It's easy (and hauntingly accurate)...just change the name of the country and the name of the boogeyman and poof...conservative talking points:
"Before 2001 there one State above all, the United States of America, which prevented the Muslim from reaching his goal – the mastery of the world. Here not everything which they already possessed in their Eastern dictatorships had fallen to the Muslims. Here they were not the sole lords alike in the intellectual and economic life. Here, too, the Congress was not yet exclusively instruments of Muslim capital and of the will of the Muslim. The Christian nation of America had still preserved a certain aloofness from the Muslim. In the American people there still lived the healthy instinct of scorn for the Muslim, and there was a real danger that in these monarchies there might one day arise a Frederick the Great, a William I, and that democracy and a constitutional regime might be sent to the devil.
So the Muslims became jihadists! The Kuran should bring them to wealth and to power. This aim they disguised: they cried 'Down with the Americans and Christians and western nations!' 'Enthrone the sovereign people!' I do not know whether today one could venture to call the American people 'sovereign.' At least one cannot see any trace of it! What the American people can trace, however, what every day stands in the most crass form before its eyes, is debauchery, gluttony, speculation ruling unchecked, the open mockery of the Muslim.... "
Paraphrased from Hitler's speech in Munich, April 13, 1923.
Palin, Newt and Romney are hardly "diverse". Let's stop pretending if you want anyone to take you serious that is not already a republican or simply not very sharp. It has alwasy been a Republican front group, created, funded and ran by republicans.
THat is where the racist comments come from. You can't seperate todays GOP from racisim and any group that is primarily Republican will always have to high a percentage of racists in it.
This conservative doesn't see one candidate worth supporting
palin romney&tea party is a bird of feather same not good for the country obama need to be thank fof what he has done for the country.thanks obama.
it's only shocking to the media. i think the members of the tea party already knew this
Palin you're a condescending delusional moron.
Maybe if Palin kept her month shut she would have scored higher!
This article is depressing.The best possible thing to happen for the Democratic party in the next presidential election, would be a contest between Palin and Obama. She is political idiot and a ticking time-bomb. Go Sarah!
Why is this shocking? The Teaa Baggers are idiots, but they aren't totally stupid.
I actually find it comforting to know that even one of the dumbest segments of our population aren't that stupid.
WOW!! What a field of stalwarts. The envy of any political party.
Deferment kings- Mitt [who supported that stupid war but his four son's only contribution was they drove dad around in an a/c bus to endorse it and campaign for Mitt's presidential bid.] –
and Newt-chasing the YOUNG skirts while simultaneously abandons wives # 1 and 2 during convalescents from serious illnesses.
And then the illustrious governor who deserted the faithful in AK for the more worthy and lofty pursuit of the green gold.
Not much of a loss granted, but did leave the state footing the bill for several of her transgressions. Too many to list on one's palm.
Is this any real surprise? What I would like to know is who among the right wing crackpots or femi-nutzi's is bankrolling her and keeping her name in the media. She should of had her 15 minutes of fame and disappeared already.
Sarah Palin makes no sense and the Tea Party gets it.
I'm not sure of this is good news or bad. Either way, it's a telling indictment that Sarah is not popular enough to gain the white house and for this counrty, that's very good news.
The tea party must have found out she doesn't have the COJONES for the job
The only thing that shocks me is that she's even in the conversation.
Sarah Palin is steadily, surely, irrevocably devolving from political figure to talk-radio cartoon, ala Hannity and Limbaugh. And why not? She'll make more money, build a career out of Monday-morning quarterbacking and and never have to do much more than point out what those who've actually been elected to lead are doing wrong. Sweet deal.
Nun o dem wood git my vote
You folks have the crappiest attitudes I've ever heard. Such anger and hatred. It's unhealthy. Besides "our" candidate will be running against Hilary. She's going to kick Obama's butt. Then we'll kick hers.