On Tuesday I was listening to the Rob Johnson Show WGST-640 (Atlanta) in the morning and in the 7:00 am hour they had a leader from the Tea Party Express here in GA (Maybe it was Amy). She said that after the Dede mess in NY in 2010 Newt Gingrich actively sought out meetings with the Tea Party groups around the country to discuss and gain input. Newt had been very active in seeking Tea Party support over the past year.
As a result, most Tea Party groups are rallying around Newt. Santorum is less an option because the Tea Party is not currently concerned with social issues like Santorum is focused on.
So those who got elected with the help of the Tea Party including Marco Rubio and Nikki Haley risk alienating the Tea Party.
Mark Levin the other night was just ranting about the orchestrated, vicious Romney/GOP-e attack on Newt. He said one of the things that really bothered him about Romney was that he doesn't learn from his mistakes, as evidenced by Romney's stubborn insistence on defending the indefensible ..... Romneycare. He said Newt had supported a mandate at one time, but has realized his error, admitted it (this is important!) and moved on. It looks like the Tea Party/Dede thing was another learning moment for Newt ... I'm very glad to hear this. BTW - who else won't admit mistakes and clings to ideology/policies that don't work, even in the face of massive evidence to the contrary? Obama. Romney is proving every day he is Obama-lite on most issues.