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. Todd

    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.

    Nobody cares!

    August 13, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  2. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  3. NVa Native

    Blah, blah, blah, teabggers, teabaggers, teabaggers, Phailin, Phailin, Phailin, Beck, Beck, Beck, blah, blah, blah ........
    Who cares?
    Just getting real tired of all the negative garbage.

    August 13, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  5. cr1

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. pflatman

    Why on this green earth can't the Republicans find a credible candidate for the CIC? Romney, Gingrich, and Palin?


    August 13, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Bill

    Is Sarah running? If so, would she be running an the "Tea Party" ticket or the Republican?

    August 13, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. JOhn

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. Jack


    This conservative doesn't see one candidate worth supporting

    August 13, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  11. robert lowe

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. leciat

    it's only shocking to the media. i think the members of the tea party already knew this

    August 13, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  13. Rightwingevangelicalconservatism is a disease

    Palin you're a condescending delusional moron.

    August 13, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Marco

    Maybe if Palin kept her month shut she would have scored higher!

    August 13, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. JoshA

    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!

    August 13, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  16. Enoch

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Louisiana Man

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Mike S

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. MB Seattle

    Sarah Palin makes no sense and the Tea Party gets it.

    August 13, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. Michael

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. ed fl

    The tea party must have found out she doesn't have the COJONES for the job

    August 13, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  22. Chris - Denver

    The only thing that shocks me is that she's even in the conversation.

    August 13, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  23. Drew Williams

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Rufus The House Negro

    Nun o dem wood git my vote

    August 13, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  25. oirish

    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.

    August 13, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
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