By the numbers: Could Newt be the tea-party choice in 2012?

The chart above shows who voters in each segment consider their leading spokesman, and the largest segment is the Tea Party group; the politics of 2012 will be, as always, for candidates to develop a solid grip of a section of the electorate and then pick up enough of the rest of the primary electorate to win. Romney’s challenge here isn’t to be the Tea Party favorite: It’s to consolidate his Establishment base while making himself acceptable, or better, to the grassroots conservatives.

And McInturff’s polling suggests that there’s more than enough space for a true Tea Party standard-bearer — and that Newt could be it.