WASHINGTON (CNN) – As Colin Powell fires back against Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh in the latest skirmish in the battle over the future of the Republican Party, a new national poll indicates that Americans have a much more favorable opinion of Powell than Cheney or Limbaugh.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey, released Monday, suggests that 70 percent have a favorable opinion of Powell, who was Secretary of State during President George W. Bush's first term, and who served as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the Persian Gulf War.
Only 30 percent of those polled have a favorable view of Limbaugh, the popular conservative radio talk show host, with 53 percent saying they hold an unfavorable opinion.
In poll numbers released Thursday, 37 percent say they have a favorable opinion of Dick Cheney, with 55 percent indicating they hold an unfavorable view of the former vice president.
Among Republicans, it's a different story. The poll suggests that 66 percent of Republicans have a favorable view of Cheney, 64 percent give Powell a thumbs up, and 62 view Limbaugh in a favorable way.
In an appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, Powell dismissed attacks from Cheney and Limbaugh, saying they are "not members of the membership committee of the Republican Party."
"Rush will not get his wish, and Mr. Cheney was misinformed. I am still a Republican," he said. "I would like to point out that in the course of my 50 years of voting for presidents, I have voted for the person I thought was best qualified at that time to lead the nation. Last year, I thought it was President Barack Obama. For the previous 20 years, I voted solidly for Republican candidates."
Earlier this month on the same program, Cheney was asked about a dispute between Limbaugh and Powell over the role each plays in the GOP. "My take on it was Colin had already left the party. I didn't know he was still a Republican," Cheney responded.
Limbaugh also fired away at Powell this month, saying on his program that "what Colin Powell needs to do is close the loop and become a Democrat instead of claiming to be a Republican interested in reforming the Republican Party."
Could Colin Powell be a leader of the moderate wing of the GOP?
"Moderate Republicans fighting back against Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney. They're ready to rumble. And they've got a soldier to lead them," says CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider.
The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted May 14-17, with 1,010 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.