Ron Paul Wins Tea Party Straw Poll In Iowa

2012 GOP Presidential Primary candidate Ron Paul is gaining momentum and endorsements from Tea Party groups and members in Iowa.  
According to Ron Paul's official website, his campaign gained the endorsements of two Dubuque Tea Party co-founders, Michael Heeren and Jeff Luecke, and won the Dubuque Tea Party Straw Poll by over a 2-1 ratio against second place candidate Newt Gingrich last night.

Ron Paul won the straw poll despite the fact that Newt Gingrich personally phoned into the Tea Party group's straw poll and fielded questions from attendees.

The momentum gained by Ron Paul from the Dubuque Tea Party straw poll is significant.  The Dubuque Tea Party win comes two days before a state-wide Tea Party rally is held in Indianola on December 3, 2011 where the various Tea Party groups hope to unify their support and endorsement for just one presidential candidate.

“The Iowa team is gratified that Ron Paul supporters within the Dubuque Tea Party delivered our candidate a decisive victory.  We have always said that Ron Paul and tea party supporters have shared values, and today’s results illustrate crossover support in addition to organizational muscle,” said Ron Paul 2012 Iowa Campaign Chairman Drew Ivers.

The three candidates who were favored just three months ago by Iowa Tea Party-leaning voters were Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, and Ron Paul.

Michelle Bachmann, who won the Iowa straw poll in August with 29% to Ron Paul's 28%, has watched her campaign lose momentum over the last three months and is no longer among the top four Republican Presidential Primary candidates in recent polls.  

Hermain Cain, like Michelle Bachmann, has watched his campaign peak and plummet just as quickly.

So where will the various Tea Party groups across  the country throw their support if the top three candidates to choose from are Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney?

Well, Mitt Romney would have a tough time convincing Tea Party members that he is conservative or populist enough due to Romney Care and his support of bailing out European banks with U.S. taxpayer dollars via the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  The Tea Party movement was started as a populist reaction to Obamacare, the financial crisis, and ensuing Wall Street bailouts.

As demonstrated by last night's distant second place in last night's Tea Party straw poll, Newt Gingrich is the only other GOP presidential candidate that has a chance to gain endorsements from various Tea Party groups.  The main divide between Tea Party members who support Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul is the role of the U.S. in international affairs and military action in foreign countries.  But this issue seems to take a back seat to the core principles of Tea Party groups.  

Moreover, Newt Gingrich is a Washington, D.C. insider who lobbied for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae which helped lead to the financial crisis and left the U.S. taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars in bad loans for years to come.  Tea Party groups would be hard pressed to endorse a candidate who exemplifies broken government and the corrupt nature of politics in Washington, D.C.

The Iowa 2012 Caucus will not only demonstrate who is the front-running Republican presidential candidate, but will also serve as a bellwether as to how influential the Tea Party is in Republican politics.  With Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich splitting the political establishment vote, a possible Ron Paul win in Iowa could make for some very interesting presidential politics in 2012.

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