The latest on the presidential horse race.

2016 Poll: Tea Party Members More Likely to Vote for Hillary Than Republicans

McClatchy/Marist, 2/4-2/9
National Tea Party Support

  • Clinton: 28, Paul: 70
  • Clinton: 24, Cruz: 73
  • Clinton: 24, Ryan: 76
  • Clinton: 19, Romney: 78
  • Clinton: 21, Huckabee: 78
  • Clinton: 27, Bush: 70
  • Clinton: 30, Christie: 65
  • Clinton: 29, Rubio: 68
  • Clinton: 30, Palin: 68

In the media’s perpetual mission to create a narrative, details often fall to waste side. Much has been made of the Tea Party and what kind of influence they will have on the 2016 election but the group has been portrayed as a single-minded unity simply looking to elect the most conservative candidate possible. While this may be true for a large majority of the Tea Party, a new McClatchy/Marist poll has shed some light on how the Tea Party vote breaks down candidate-by-candidate.

The two candidates most closely associated with the Tea Party are Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Texas Senator Ted Cruz. If we were to go by the media’s simplistic view of the Tea Party, we might assume that the Tea Party vote would overwhelmingly flow to the two Republicans over Democrat Hillary Clinton. That’s not exactly the case.

Among Tea Party poll respondents, an obviously strong 70 percent would vote for Paul but a very significant 28 percent would give their vote to Hillary, a candidate that certainly doesn’t have the conservative record that the Tea Party is known for. On the flip-side, Hillary is polling at 9-15 percent among Republican voters.

In a hypothetical 2016 matchup against Cruz, the Texas Senator would receive 73 percent while Clinton would receive a significant 24 percent. Again, the disparity is clear but one quarter to one third of the Tea Party may not be the staunch conservative-seeking-missiles the media has portrayed the group as.

Against Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, Hillary would receive 24 percent of the vote while the GOP budget leader receives 76 percent. Mitt Romney, someone who isn’t exactly known for being the most conservative guy in the room, actually performs the best, receiving 78 percent of the Tea Party vote to Clinton’s 19. At this point, though, it’s unlikely that Romney would run for a third time.

Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, quickly becoming a frontrunner in the GOP race, would receive 78 percent of the vote to Hillary’s 21. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush would receive 70 percent of the vote to Hillary’s 27. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie would receive 65 percent of the Tea Party vote to Clinton’s 30. Florida Senator Marco Rubio would receive 68 percent of the Tea Party vote to Clinton’s 29. Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would receive 68 percent to Hillary’s 30.

Perhaps most interesting isn’t that 20-30 percent of Tea Partiers would cast their vote for Clinton but that candidates like Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, who aren’t associated with the Tea Party, actually see better numbers from the group than Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

(Image courtesy of Fibonacci Blue)