By Ali Carey, Contributing Writer
Romney may have won CNN’s GOP Tea Party Debate according to national polls but according to a recent survey, one of the largest PA Tea Parties prefers Perry.
The Independence Hall Tea Party Association is a non-profit grassroots organization encompassing conservative activists in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. They were a co-sponsor of the Tea Party Express/CNN Republican Presidential Debate and conducted a poll of its membership and friends in a 24 hour period immediately following Monday’s debate in Tampa, FL.
The results indicated that the winner of the debate, by one vote, was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was second, followed by Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in a close third.
However, asked which candidate they would prefer to see in a general election matchup, Texas Governor Rick Perry edged Romney by three votes. If the primary were held today, the most Tea Party votes would go to Perry, followed by Romney then Bachmann. In a heads-up race between the two, Perry would pull in 59 percent of the vote.
Tea Party members may be torn on who is the best GOP presidential candidate but one thing is clear. They all want Obama out of office. More than two thirds of those polled believed it was more important to win the general election then to worry about ideological purity.
The results show that Perry’s campaign has gained considerable traction over the summer months, though Romney can take heart having been so competitive among die-hard conservatives.
Independence Hall Tea Party Association President Teri Adams acknowledged that the results of the survey may not indicate the views of all of their members.
“More than 300 took part in the survey, which is a small percentage of those on our email list–yet still very indicative of a cross-section of Tea Partiers from Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania,” said Adams.