DeMint says he'll poll supporters to determine endorsement

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) sent out an email Tuesday morning asking supporters of his Senate Conservatives Fund whom to endorse in the presidential race. 

The move follows a published report that suggested DeMint was moving toward an endorsement of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. 

DeMint, a staunch conservative and favorite of the Tea Party movement whose endorsement is highly coveted because of his popularity in early-voting South Carolina, said he would make an endorsement in the presidential race if the poll of his backers showed strong support for one candidate over the others.

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He has used the same method in testing support for other conservatives ahead of endorsing them, most recently when he decided to back former Rep. Mark Neumann (R-Wis.) against former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson in a Senate race in Wisconsin.

DeMint pushed back at a report Monday in Roll Call that said Romney was the favorite to get his endorsement, saying it was "completely false."

"I have no favorite in the presidential race and have no plans to endorse anyone until I find a candidate who earns the trust of grassroots conservatives," he said. "There is no better barometer of the grass roots than the members of the Senate Conservatives Fund. Please take a minute to vote in our online presidential primary poll. Your opinion matters greatly to me and will have a major impact on any decision I make related to the presidential primary election."