Newt Gingrich won the Tea Party Straw Poll in Florida with 35 percent of the vote after a teleconference that the Tea Party Patriots sponsored Sunday night.
During the Tea Party Patriots Presidential Tele Forum of Republican presidential candidates, Florida activists and leaders questioned former House Speaker Gingrich, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was invited but could not attend, the organization said.
After the forum, participants in the poll of the nation’s largest tea party organization were asked to pick their candidate if the election took place today.
Santorum finished second to Gingrich with 31 percent, with Mitt Romney third at 18, and Paul, at 11 percent. Five percent were undecided or did not like any of the candidates.
Nearly 6,000 tea party activists in Florida participated in the call, and 600 voted in the straw poll. The Tea Party Patriots organization does not endorse candidates, it noted, adding that the straw poll provides a snapshot of the views of its activists. It also is providing audios of each candidate; to hear them, click here
The forum and poll “demonstrated again that the tea party values are winning in America,” said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder and national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots. “The three participating candidates all pledged to decrease spending below the current spending level their first fiscal year in office, and vowed to repeal government controlled healthcare. As long as tea party supporters hold the elected officials accountable, regardless of whom is elected, our priorities will be addressed.”
Tea Party Patriots
is a national, nonprofit, nonpartisan grass-roots coalition with more than 3,400 locally organized chapters and more than 15 million supporters.
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