A survey of supporters of the Tea Party Express organization shows that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is the favorite of the conservative grassroots to be chosen as Mitt Romney’s running mate.
“It is not a big surprise that Marco Rubio is the favorite candidate of the tea party for the vice-presidential nod,” said Tea Party Express chairman Amy Kremer. “He ran as a strong fiscal conservative, and he has delivered with his record in the U.S. Senate for the last two years.”
Over 8,000 responses were included in the survey, according to the group.
Kremer said Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and Florida Rep. Allen West came in second and third behind Rubio.
The Tea Party Express conducted the survey by asking supporters to rate 27 potential candidates as “strong,” “ok” or “weak.”
Rubio was voted a “strong” candidate by 66 percent; Ryan was considered “strong” by 50 percent and West was deemed “strong” by 47 percent.
As for others, Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is called “strong” by 44 percent, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin by 41 percent, Rep. Michele Bachmann by 41 percent and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker by 40 percent.
It’s notable that Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Ohio Rep. Rob Portman and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal — believed to the top choices under consideration by Romney — were not considered strong picks by those who responded to the survey.
Kremer said the conservative grassroots is “committed to defeating Barack Obama in the race for the White House, taking the gavel out of the hands of Harry Reid in the Senate and adding to our tea party supporters in the House of Representatives.”