Tea Party Picking Winners in Presidential Primaries
|Sacramento, CA – The Tea Party movement has been decisive in the presidential primaries with Tea Party voters choosing the winner in 15 of the 16 states where exit-polling data is available. Polls in the next contested primary state, Wisconsin, are showing Mitt Romney leading with both Tea Party supporters and voters as a whole, which would continue the track record of Tea Party success.
Contrary to the frequent and erroneous portrayal of the Tea Party as a fringe movement, what was abundantly clear in 2010 and further demonstrated in the presidential primaries thus far is that the Tea Party movement is driven by a broad base of the American electorate. Though many of these voters have a wide range of political views in regards to social and foreign policy, their shared determination to reduce the size, cost, and intrusiveness of the federal government brings them all together under the Tea Party banner.
Former Governor Mitt Romney has won eight states with exit polls – New Hampshire, Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Vermont, Virginia, Illinois and Ohio. Romney also captured a plurality of Tea Party supporters in each of the states except for Ohio, where Santorum won narrowly the votes of Tea Party supporters.
Former Senator Rick Santorum has been victorious in six states with exit polls – Iowa, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. He won the plurality of Tea Party supporters in every one of those states; in addition, he won narrowly the Tea Party supporters in Ohio while the state was voting for Romney by a small margin.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich succeeded in winning both the Tea Party supporters vote and the presidential primaries in South Carolina and his home state of Georgia. Congressman Ron Paul has neither won the plurality vote of Tea Party supporters or voters in any state.
The Co-Founder and Chief Strategist of the Tea Party Express Sal Russo said, “The Tea Party movement will be just as influential in 2012 as it proved to be in 2010. The big difference in the two election cycles is that Tea Party activists were new to the political arena last election, but they are now firmly ensconced and engaged directly with multiple candidate campaigns for 2012.
“There is less need to wake up the politicians in Washington and to motivate Tea Party supporters to get active in the political process has passed. These millions of new people continue to be engaged and are working hard to elect conservatives to Congress and to defeat President Barack Obama,” Russo concluded.
The Tea Party Express has not endorsed a Presidential candidate as yet, but sponsored the Tea Party Express Presidential Bus Tour in August and September 2011 to provide Tea Party supporters an opportunity to hear from the presidential candidates. The Tour concluded with the Tea Party Express/CNN Presidential Debate in Tampa, Florida, on September 12th. The Tea Party Express has already endorsed five senate candidates for the 2012 election cycle: Attorney General Jon Bruning in Nebraska, State Treasurer Richard Mourdock in Indiana, former Solicitor General Ted Cruz in Texas, State Treasurer Josh Mandel in Ohio and former State Treasurer Sarah Steelman in Missouri. More Congressional endorsements will be forthcoming in the coming months.
The chart below shows the exit polling results for the presidential primaries concluded thus far.