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Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann Top Tea Party Patriots' National Straw Poll

Newt Gingrich and Michele Bachmann topped the field in a national tea party straw poll Sunday night.

Gingrich received 31 percent and Bachmann garnered 28 percent of the ballots cast in the Tea Party Patriots' "Tele-Forum" poll.

Mitt Romney placed third with 20 percent, followed by Rick Santorum at 16 percent, Ron Paul at 3 percent and Rick Perry at 2 percent. Jon Huntsman received a fraction of a percentage.

While Gingrich edged Bachmann for first place, Bachmann held a slim advantage over the Georgian when voters were asked to rate their level of enthusiasm for each candidate. Some 35 percent described themselves as "very enthusiastic" for the Minnesota congresswoman versus 34 percent for the former House speaker.

Santorum and Romney were rated at 27 percent and 25 percent respectively while Huntsman and Paul had the highest "not at all enthusiastic" scores at 65 and 64 percent respectively.

Jenny Beth Martin, co-chair of Tea Party Patriots, which bills itself as the nation's largest tea party organization, said more than 22,000 people participated in the Tele-Forum.

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