Santorum Won Among Iowa Tea Partiers, Romney Among Tea Party Opponents, Says Entrance Poll

By Terence P. Jeffrey | January 4, 2012 | 12:11pm EST

Former Sen. Rick Santorum, with his wife, Karen, on caucus night in Johnston, Iowa, Jan. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

(CNSNews.com) - Former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania won a plurality of votes from the Tea Party supporters who attended Tuesday night's Iowa caucuses, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney won a plurality of those who say they oppose the Tea Party, according to an entrance poll published by CNN.

Sixty-four percent of caucus-goers described themselves as Tea Party supporters, 10 percent described themselves as opponents of the Tea Party, and 24 percent said they were neutral about the Tea Party.

Among Tea Party supporters, Santorum won 29 percent and Romney and Rep. Ron Paul tied for second with 19 percent each. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich won 15 percent of Tea Party supporters, Texas Gov. Rick Perry won 11 percent, and Rep. Michele Bachmann won 6 percent.

Among caucus-goers who said they oppose the Tea Party movement, Romney won 43 percent, Paul won 21 percent, Santorum won 13 percent, Gingrich won 9 percent, Perry won 8 percent, and Bachmann and Huntsman each won 3 percent, according to the poll.

The 64 percent of Iowa Republican caucus-goers who said they support the Tea Party included 34 percent who said they “strongly” support the Tea Party movement and 30 percent who said they “somewhat” support it. Santorum won 30 percent of those who said they strongly support it, compared to 16 percent for Paul and 14 percent for Romney.

Santorum won 27 percent among those who said they “somewhat” support the Tea Party, while Romney had 24 percent among this group, and Paul had 22 percent.

The entrance poll surveyed 1,787 people who attended last night’s caucuses.

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