A hypothetical national "Tea Party" modeled after the movement by the same name unexpectedly outperformed Republicans in a new poll.
According to Rasmussen, which released its latest numbers on Monday, 33 percent of all voters would vote for a generic "Tea Party" candidate if one was on the ballot, compared to only 12 percent who said they would vote for a Republican.
And among strictly registered Republican voters, 39 percent said they would select the GOP candidate, while 33 percent said they would opt for the "Tea Party's" nominee.
Ultimately, Rasmussen cautions readers that its findings Monday should be taken lightly: While the Tea Party movement performed well in the poll, it is unlikely a national version of the campaign is going to emerge soon.
It is equally unlikely that a third party of any sort would actually perform as well on Election Day, pollsters added, as a history of failed independent movements has demonstrated.
Still, Monday's numbers are sure to galvanize the GOP's more conservative members -- not to mention its more conservative candidates in states like California and Florida, who are trying to flank their opposition in their party primaries from the political right.