CNN is reporting that Newt Gingrich is the winner of a Tea Party straw poll in a conference call including over 23,000 participants.  He won it by roughly 3 percentage points over runner-up Michele Bachmann.  According to the CNN piece, “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.

Here is the complete breakdown direct from Tea Party Patriots:

  • Newt Gingrich 31%
  • Michele Bachmann 28%
  • Mitt Romney 20%
  • Rick Santorum 16%
  • Ron Paul 3%
  • Rick Perry 2%
  • Jon Huntsman 0% (.34%)

That’s a pretty clear win over such people as Rick Perry, once thought to be a front-runner, and it’s a handy move upward for Rick Santorum.  With Mitt Romney finishing a distant third, it invites discussions of other possible late entrants as have circulated at least twice on Monday.  Still, 31% for Gingrich may not be enough to seal the deal, but considering that the Tea Party is expected to have a significant impact on the nomination process, it’s one cannot discount this straw poll.  After all, 23,000 is a rather large sample when compared to most polls, so this may well be indicative of the state of the race, at least in states where the Tea Party is thought to be stronger.

H/T to Dawn Larson for the breakdown on the vote!

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