Survey: Tea Partiers nationwide rank Marco Rubio as favorite candidate

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
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Tea Party voters nationwide say that Florida GOP Senate nominee Marco Rubio is their favorite candidate this election cycle, according to a survey released today of 118 Tea Party activists.

Delaware U.S. Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell received the lowest satisfaction score from the Tea Party activists when asked to rate this year’s Tea Party candidates.

The Sam Adams Alliance study, which examined the relationship between Tea Party activists and traditional conservative “establishment” organizations, shows that Utah’s Mike Lee is the most satisfying Tea Party candidate this year for establishment conservatives. O’Donnell also was also ranked the lowest among these establishment voters.

In the study, the 97 people considered establishment came from places such as conservative think-tanks, legislative offices and non-profits.

Tea Party voters and establishment conservatives also have different preferences for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is the Tea Party favorite, followed by Sarah Palin, South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint and Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, who tied for second place.

Establishment picks for 2012 were Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels finished first, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

The study’s director, Anne Sorock, said in a statement that the results also show how “the Tea Party movement, which has been able to influence primaries thus far, has also influenced the bedrock of the Establishment Right.”