August 13th, 2010
03:19 PM ET
12 years ago

Poll shows Palin not the clear Tea Party favorite

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption =" According to the new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll, Sarah Palin is not the front runner for the White House among Tea Party supporters."]

(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."

Filed under: Mitt Romney • Sarah Palin • Tea Party movement
soundoff (155 Responses)
  1. Sean

    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.

    No it's just that some folks have seen the truth about her and have changed there minds about her.
    At least she still has her reality TV show at One Million a shot to fall back on.

    August 13, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. True American

    The TEA Party and its De Facto leaders: Palin, Newt, Romney, and Bachmann. are the poster children for Phony Conservatism.

    What they say: Fiscal Conservatism, Limited Government.

    What they really do:

    Raise Taxes : Palin – lookup the Alaksa Clear and Equitable Shares.
    Support Government Backed Healthcare: Romney – lookup Romneycare.
    Divorce and Adulterize: Newt.
    Grew Government to legislate they religious beliefs onto the private lives of the US people: Bachman.

    TEA Party = Phony Conservatives. They don't care about conservatism. They are only anti-democrat and want the power so they can do the spending.

    August 13, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Elizabeth

    If Republican consultant Sanchez believes that people are "looking for solutions beyond the rhetoric" then I believe they would be well-advised to read the interview with Gingrich's second wife who was married to him for 18 years and probably knows him very well. When he told her he was having an affair and asked her to condone it and then spoke at a rally stressing "family values" his response to her query about how he could do that was "These people need to hear what I have to say. What I say is important, not how I live". That's NOT the voice of the Republican party that I would want to hear – or have leading my country.

    August 13, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Jon Torok

    You are an active member of the Tea Party movement 2%
    You support the Tea Party movement but you are not an active member 26%

    This does not equate to 52% active of republicans. Who wrote this?

    August 13, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. Ron

    Palin comes in 3rd in percentage of support from "the fiscally concervative group". "Fiscally conservative only? Let's try:

    1. Socially conservative
    2. Fiscally conservative
    3. Conservative on Civil Rights (if you consider reverting to 1950 conservative)
    4. Conservative on the environment (not to be confused with "conservationist")
    5. Conservative on immigration (actually just immigration from Mexico)

    Hey, don't sell the Tea Party short. They are much more than "fiscally conservative". When Republicans and Evangelicals put their heads together to form a political movement, it's not going to just be about fiscal matters.

    August 13, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. chester drawers

    Talk about the island of misfit toys.

    August 13, 2010 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Sean

    Is it possible that the Teabaggers have heard enuff of her to finally discover that shes a moron albeit with a nice body? If she was a mute shed have a fighting chance but every time this woman opens her mouth the State of Alaska and America in general looks dumb.

    August 13, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. All the news that is fit to omit

    Even though she has more experience than Oweblamo did, I still don't want her as MY president.

    I nice cabinet position in the Romney/Ryan administration sounds about right.

    This story was soooo good CNN had to post it twice, how about part 5 of the Clinton/Sestak story that broke yesterady or is that REAL NEWS not allowed?

    My bad, all the news that's fit to omit indeed.

    August 13, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. garc

    Yes, the racists are incredibly diverse.

    August 13, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Kate in San Diego

    I guess those tea partiers are smarter than I thought.

    August 13, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Pragmatic

    The establishment and the tea party will use her to rile the base and raise money ... but she will never be allowed any real power ... how can you respect someone who writes her notes on her hand!

    As for her rhetoric – would the GOP swoon as far and as fast if the woman looked more like Susan Boyle? Susan has a God Given Talent ... but what does Palin really offer? Just asking ....

    August 13, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. GDB

    Well, I guess this proves that unlike Palin, some people in the Tea Party actually are thinking members of U.S. society. Who wants a preachy quitter as our next anything? Can the Palin's please just go away...

    August 13, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  13. cel

    yes, the Tea Party is diverse. From Right Wing to Extreme Right Wing.
    They're all a bunch of out of control people who would rather let people go hunry and lose their homes than to help out with tax dollars. What a bunch of Scrooges.

    August 13, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  14. mickeymusing

    But wait. I thought Teabagger's were independent of and frustrated with BOTH parties? This looks pretty much like they are just a faction of the Republican party–exactly what Dems have been saying all along. You mean this whole movement is nothing more than an astroturf effort by wealthy Republican interests to drum up support from people who can't figure out that they are being used? Who woulda thunk it?

    August 13, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  15. Jeff

    That's because she's a blithering idiot.

    August 13, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  16. Uncle Sam

    Why is that a surprise CNN clearly tells us she is unqualified. I wish CNN would have advised the liberals that Obama was unqualified.

    August 13, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  17. GL

    She is no Rock Star if the Tea Baggers don't want her.

    August 13, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. FactCheck

    Does anyone really care what this fringe group of loons thinks? Remember a few months back when they were going to "take back the country"? The only thing they took was a nosedive into a pile of manure.

    August 13, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    palin and newt 2012 all the way live

    August 13, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Oy Vey Az

    Palin energizes Tea Party voters with a sense of runaway wacky-doodleness, out of control unchecked stupidity, and a growing intellectual deficit.

    I just love to see all of the doodlebugs scurry around as they are drawn out of their cracks bits by our fearless northern cousin..

    August 13, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. Mr Independent

    The fact that Palin is still even mentioned as a possible presidential candidate shows how pathetic the republican party has become. It's amazing that we have enough pathetic people in America to support the Rethugs and give the the semblance of relevance.

    Democratics will sweep in 2010 and Obama will cruise through reelection in 2012... Get over it.

    August 13, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  22. Troubled Independent

    Thank God! I'm definitely thinking of voting Republican in the next presidential election (unless Hillary runs for president), and I certainly didn't want to vote for palin. She is a little more qualified than obammie, but that's not saying much!

    August 13, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. Jeff in Houston

    As I have said before, I despise both fo these people, but I think democracy would have a better chance of surviving Newt than Sarah.

    August 13, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Brianna

    Guys, Mitt Romney voted for Commonwealth Care. He's still defending it. You honestly think you're going to repeal Obamacare with this guy?!?

    August 13, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. larry

    CNN asks "So just why isn't Palin the clear Tea Party favorite for president?" Simply because a she doesn't have the cohones to be a teabagger.

    August 13, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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