Gingrich wins Tea Party Patriots straw poll
December 19th, 2011
10:03 AM ET
3 years ago

Gingrich wins Tea Party Patriots straw poll

(CNN) - Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won a straw poll hosted by the Tea Party Patriots Sunday.

The Tea Party Patriots announced the results Monday following a conference call held late Sunday when more than 23,000 supporters across the country voted on their selection for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

"An overwhelming number of activists from around the nation showed they are serious about electing a candidate who advances tea party principles," said National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin.

But she added, "Just as in 2010, candidates like Newt Gingrich will need to show they will be fiscally responsible and protect the Constitution in the White House."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum all responded to questions selected by tea party coordinators that were provided to the candidates in advance.

Iowa Rep. Steve King prefaced candidate responses by observing, "I could make a perfect candidate out of the components" of contenders, but no perfect selection for the GOP nomination exists.

"No candidate has articulated the depth of the financial crisis that we're in," King said. "I want a presidential candidate to give us a date certain by which we would balance the budget."

The congressman, an active tea party supporter, is a kingmaker in the first-in-the-nation caucus state whose endorsement would benefit any campaign. Though he is close with Bachmann, he has not publicly endorsed her candidacy.

Romney touted the importance of America remaining a "merit society" as opposed to an "entitlement nation" on the call, and Bachmann pledged to repeal "Obamacare" by leading the charge to pick up Republican seats in the Senate.

She likened the strategy to that of President Obama's, whom Bachmann said "stole" the Minnesota Senate election that delivered a victory to Sen. Al Franken and sealed the Democratic majority in the chamber.

Santorum trumpeted his Senate experience saying, "I was the only one in this race who actually ended a federal entitlement. Newt talks about it as the speaker, but he wasn't the leader. I was the leader. I actually wrote the Contract with America welfare reform bill and said he was "passionate" about the balanced budget amendment.

Gingrich also reflected on his time in Congress. "When I was speaker, we made the decision to balance the budget," Gingrich said. "It took us about three years, we balanced it for four straight years."

But, according to Gingrich, "(President) Obama has us in much worse shape, so I think it'll take about five years."

Following questions with the candidates, supporters were able to select their choice for the 2012 Republican nomination and rate their enthusiasm for each individual candidate as hypothetical nominee.

Gingrich received 31% support, followed by Bachmann at 28%, and Romney at 20%. Sixteen percent of participants voted for Santorum, 3% selected Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and less than one percent chose Huntsman.

Gingrich may have won the Tea Party Patriots straw poll, but was edged out for the enthusiasm vote amongst supporters. Just slightly more of the participants said they'd by extremely enthusiastic if Bachmann were the nominee over Gingrich at 36-35% –27% said they'd be extremely enthusiastic for Santorum, and one quarter said they'd be extremely enthusiastic if Romney secured the nomination for president.

The tea party group also used the teleforum as a fundraising opportunity, with the goal of banking $25,000 for their activities. By the call's end, they claimed to have raised $22,000.

Also see:

Bachmann pauses in Iowa tour to talk 'myth' of Kinsey Report

Paul claims Bachmann 'hates' Muslims

S.C. governor rallies crowd for Romney


Filed under: 2012 • Newt Gingrich • Tea Party
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Peace

    Go Gingrich go! We are all behind you. How can anyone support someone like Romney who does not share at all our beliefs. We like you Newt. We will support you until you emerge as a winner.

    December 19, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  2. Scott in Atlanta

    LOL... Now that's funny. Gingrich... A Tea Party Patriot??? Now I've seen it all.

    December 19, 2011 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. politics as usual

    Proof positive that the Tea Party is not to be taken seriously.

    December 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  4. Annie, Atlanta

    Is this what we've come to when someone like Newt could be the Republican Party nominee? And how is it legal that he's out there on the campaign trail plugging his books and dvds? I wonder if there is anything he wouldn't do for money?

    December 19, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  5. Jariv

    How stupid is Newt. More than the normal. Intellectual to his convenience. How can anyone support this garbage (Newt). I am so frustrated I can't seem to see the light in this guy. You have an almost perfect candidate in Romney and can't see why people cant see that. Well, Poor United States. I hope people change in the US and see how blesses they are that they sometimes choose the wrong leader. People can't choose and sometimes do not know what is best for them. Its human nature.

    December 19, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  6. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    But she added, "Just as in 2010, candidates like Newt Gingrich will need to show they will be fiscally responsible and protect the Constitution in the White House."
    ---------------------
    Republicans are still living off of the adrenaline high of the 2010 elections, while completely ignoring the polls, special elections, and various races around the country, most of which they decisively lost. I should be fair, though. They are not completely ignoring the polls, not in the usual sense. Conservatives pay more attention to polling numbes than liberals, but each reacts to them differently. Conservatives think that poor pollling simply means that they have a messaging problem, that the people are just not listening to what they are being told.

    December 19, 2011 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. V in Chicago

    Wow – he won an Iowa Straw Poll. Didn't Michelle Bachmann win one too? Thank God the rest of America does not vote like Iowians. I'm not dissing people from Iowa, but please. They in no way speak for the rest of the Country. Thankfully!!

    December 19, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  8. Max

    Party of Values????

    That's what the tea party stands for. Sexual perverts like Sarah Palin, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich get their vote. Is the tea party really a party of 'values'? Is this waht the tea party stands for? at least we now all know.

    December 19, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. westward

    Goes to show that there must be a high % of conservatives with memory disorders of Newt's past...which would be hilarious if it weren't so sad. But whatever, Republicans, nominate Gingrich & let the real reality show begin.

    December 19, 2011 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  10. jackson

    Really people ...

    This is a paragraph about Gingrich with no source or anything of the sort and everyone here is just going to eat it up? Why don't you tell us who got second, third, or fourth? What percent of the vote did Newt win with? How many votes did he get?

    Ask these questions people, think for yourselves before consuming this as your opinion.

    December 19, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. GI Joe

    If they can subpoena judges, will we get to hear from Roberts, Scalia, Thomas? Talk about a dictatorship. Good ole Newt – he's off his meds again - or maybe back on his LSD

    December 19, 2011 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  12. Wes Monroe

    Go Newt...................you will destroy Obama in a Lincoln-Douglas style debate...........even if you let Obama use his teleprompter you will win the debates.

    December 19, 2011 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    Best news out there. Keep it up T-B'ers. Make the philanderer the GOP candidate and watch him go down in flames on election nite. They won't even have to wait past the minimum 11PM to declare Obama the landslide winner of reelection

    December 19, 2011 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  14. carlos

    "An overwhelming number of activists from around the nation showed they are serious about electing a candidate who advances Tea Party principles," said National Coordinator Jenny Beth Martin.......118 is overwhelming????????.......and Patriots????????....do they play football?????

    December 19, 2011 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  15. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    So, they don't want an outsider who will change the system? I have a feeling that these teapublicans don't really know what they want. I think that they found their calling in critizing the government and don't care of the repercussions if it were to go away. Gingrich isn't really what they want. He'd be someone who can tell them what they want to hear and then do something different when things change.

    December 19, 2011 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  16. Jay Lern

    Gingrich is a Tea Party patriot the same way a gazelle is a peanut butter sandwich. But the real question is why is CNN reporting old news? Ron Paul is now winning Iowa. Yes, FIRST PLACE – not a statistical tie, not second place, but first place. Ya know, Ron "He can't win" Paul?

    December 19, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. Phil in KC

    So what are those Tea Party values? So far, Newt has shown that he lacks a moral compass (or, if he does, he pays no attention to it).

    December 19, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  18. v_mag

    Become a Newtist, for Newt Gangrene! All the big-time patriots are doing it! It's such a moral thing to do, if you have no clue what morality is.

    December 19, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. George

    For those of you who doubt about the strength of the Tea Party, you will see us in bigger number in 2012 that you did in '10. Go Newt!

    One more thing, When looking at congress's approval #'s, Check out the House #'s then check the Senates. Say good by to King Harry.

    December 19, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. Thomas

    Newt Gingrich / Dick Army

    Truth / Strength / Prosperity ?
    3 Cups of Tea.

    December 19, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. hilreal

    I don't know how anyone who calls themselves a Christian can vote for someone like this who is so Antichrist like. Is MONEY really that important that you compromise ALL your other values?

    December 19, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. mittensonkittens

    Newt has some good ideas. People will expect him to be world class in leadership and that's because of his baggage, not because they have high standards. I do trust in the depth of his belief in American traditions, even if he failed to honor them. It's better than the president who never believed to begin with and is determined to undermine our stability.

    December 19, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. T'sah from Virginia

    And that is a PROUD moment in ginGRINCH's life because he won a straw from Tea Party Patriots!!! What a pity!! Let's see how far he gets with that; let's see how far any of the far-RIGHT candidates get when it comes time to go up against President Obama!!!

    Obama 2012!!

    December 19, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. 2cents4free

    I'm confused. What were the tea party values again? Newt?... I'm sorry, I'm really confused!

    December 19, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  25. Dixie AZ

    Tea Party Patriot? Newt? Values? They like adultery, political misconduct, and lobbying?

    December 19, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
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