June 10th, 2009
03:29 PM ET
9 years ago

Poll: Majority unsure who speaks for the GOP

Americans are unsure who speaks for the GOP, according to a new poll.

Americans are unsure who speaks for the GOP, according to a new poll.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As the Republican Party struggles to regain its footing following the November elections, a new survey shows that a majority of adult Americans sees no clear leader for the minority political party.

Even more problematic for the GOP is that one-third of Republicans hold an unfavorable view of their party, according to the USA Today/Gallup poll.

When it comes to naming a “main person” who speaks for the GOP, 52 percent of Americans were unable to do so.

Among those who did name a speaker for the GOP, 13 percent identified conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh, while 10 percent named former Vice President Dick Cheney. Arizona Sen. John McCain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich were each named by 6 percent of Americans in the poll.

Related Video: Gingrich takes center stage

Just 3 percent said former President George W. Bush is currently the most prominent Republican speaker, while Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and House Minority Leader John Boehner were each named by 1 percent of participants in the survey.

“These numbers are troubling for Republicans, who are engaged in a civil war right over the ideological direction of the party,” said CNN Political Editor Mark Preston. “When one-third of Republicans hold an unfavorable view of the party, it makes it difficult to establish a united front to promote GOP policies at the same time opposing President Obama’s agenda.”

A third of Republicans in the poll said the GOP should not moderate its policies in its quest to regain power.

The poll surveyed 1,015 adults on May 29-31 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. LacrosseMom

    When ....... 52%....... of Americans do not know who speaks for the GOP, that's a sign that the GOP is not only in serious trouble, but that they are still.... not ......getting it!

    I was not polled, since I live in a red state and I am a registered Independent. I would have answered, Lush-Limbaugh if asked.

    The way the GOPers all listen to him, all are beholding to him and feel the need to apologize to the drug addict every time they do not follow his lead, it is obvious that Lush is the GOP leader.

    June 10, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  2. sensible Cape Coral Fl

    I am a PROUD Democrat. Nevertheless, I do believe in the two party
    system. The present problem with the Republican Party is a problem of their own making. Check out "Separation of Church and State".

    June 10, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  3. Chris Russell NYC

    What happened to the new found glorious "speaker/actor" Jon Voight ?apparently anyone can carry out the voice of scare tactics, fear mongering and "non citizens of the world" poopaganda, well... not quite, it seems farther difficult task to take place now that america has woken up! they are not just at civil war with each other the GOP (Great Obliterated Party) as usual want to take their righteous, radical mindset and hyperbole rhetoric to the american public so those who are ignorant enough can get brain washed easily and god forbid end up doing what kind of harm to our evolving society as just recently acts from the twisted views of some extremist on sensitive social issues as abortion, they are flat out the seed of hate just equal or worse as counterpart extremist in some other places around the globe who use religion and power as the bludgeon to impose their agenda.

    June 10, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |

    hey cnn are u ever gonna post my comments or are you scared i am to smart for your target audience for this story/article?????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 10, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. bob johnson

    As a regular voter and not registered with either party, I look at the Rs and see an extreme right party. They lack diversity in thought, geographical region and race. I look at the Ds and I see the middle. Yes they have some way left, but they have diversity across the board. All of this means that I am more likely to vote with the Ds than the Rs.

    June 10, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. Brennan

    Hahahahahaha!!!! And they still think the tide is turning in there favor!

    June 10, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Al Bluengreenenbrownenburger

    They need NEW leaders, NEW ideas, NEW approaches.

    They need to dump these nasty, mean people. They need to abandon the "hate our fellow Americans" approach of calling people "socialists" "terrorist sympathizers" and all the other childish gibberish that has putrified the conservative mindset. They need to stop chumming their base into a frenzy of fear and hatred, stop acting like they are inciting a mob.

    June 10, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  8. LibertyQueen

    Lessee now, Pill-popper Limbaugh, Blow-your-friends-away-while-hunting and War Criminal Cheney, Dump-your-wife-while-she's-in-the-hospital-with-cancer Gingrich and McCain whose daughter Megan makes sense more than all the white, bloated, over-the-hill republican boys. Wow, what a crowd. The republicans wrecked our country's economy, started two unjustified wars, have killed about a million Iraqi's and thousands of US women and men in uniform and now all they do is snivel and whine. You lost. Get over it. Go Away!!!! Far, Far Away!!!!

    June 10, 2009 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  9. Mike in LR

    Someone will emerge in due time. What's funny about this is a poll released yesterday says the majority trusts the GOP with the economy over BHO and his boys. When you can do that without a clear leader, what can you do when you have one? It's really just BO that has propelled them. He's a weak, inexperienced leader with a far left agenda while the majority of Americans are right to center.

    June 10, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  10. Willy G

    Who needs polls?

    It is so obvious from talking to those still willing to admit that they are Republicans.

    Newt, Dick, Mike H, Mitt, and Mike S are all window dressing and Sarah doesn't even count.

    Rush Limbaugh speaks for, and IS, the GOP.

    The mantle is yours Rush, now lead your party to victory in '10 and '12.

    June 10, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Doug, New Jersey

    None of this matters, the republican party simply needs to be the anti-lib party, that's all. Every decent American who works hard, has personal responsibility, has common respect and courtesy for his or her fellow Americans, and values the lives of Americans more than terrorists needs to support and vote republican if we want to continue to be a great nation with all our rights and freedoms.

    The reason Colin Powell is not a republican is because he supported a far left radical liberal extremist for president. No republican would ever do such a thing. If the constitution means something to you, if you believe in free speech, if you believe that the nation always comes before partisan hateful politics, than you cannot ever support the current modern day Democratic Obama-lib William Ayers party. JFK and MLK would be republicans if they were alive today, the Democratic Party's values are a direct contradiction to everything these 2 have ever said. I doubt they would condone pouring water on terrorists yet support terrorizing your fellow Americans with your selfishness liberalism displayed clearly in blue states by libs and their actions on the roads and in public each and every day. Get life insurance for your family and then visit a really blue area, see the truth now.

    June 10, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  12. Clint

    John McCain is an American to be honored and respected. The other three, Limbaugh, Cheney and Gingrich, are more like pompous, petty villians that you used to see in kids cartoons. The only problem, is that some Americans take them seriously.

    June 10, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  13. TCM

    HAHA....as usual, CNN skewing poll data....1015 people polled? Wow, that really represents the nation. What's really good about this article is the GOP have so many strong conservatives working for it now; and when we look at the DEMS? The party of D'oh? Who's there? Obama, Biden, Pelosi, Dodd, Reid...Emanuel? Gibbs? It's like a comedy routine! 2010 will sound a conservative comeback, and in 2012, after much financial and morality destruction of this country, Obama will go down in history as the worst president ever....

    June 10, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  14. WhoCares?

    I think the approval numbers are so low because they come across as just petty in their obstruction tactics.

    I think most Americans truly believe that the RNC does not have the welfare of Amercians as a priority.

    June 10, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  15. stevie ray





    June 10, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. mjm

    I would be more concerned with the Democrats and how they are handling their control of congress and the white House.

    They get all the credit, good or bad, for the next several years.

    Let's see if they are up to the challenge. After all, I heard it was the Republicans who got us into this mess.

    Now, we can find out which policies, Democrat or Republican, work best for America.

    Let's see what happens.

    June 10, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  17. PULEEEZZZ!! lets tell some truth

    Reagan, Nixon, the Bush dynasty, all are dark spots for the middle class in the USA. Yes, add in some of the Clinton policies, but the GOP and their profit motives, outsourcing, lack of concern for our health, (individual and planetary) and obscuring facts ( hence the war in Iraq, with 5,000 dead americans and how many others?) have led this party into the trash can. Its over for them. Watch them squirm and wiggle.
    I dream we can reconstruct the middle class, and above all, keep religion OUT of our government. And Sarah Palin, go back to your family and raise those kids so they don't get pregnant out of marriage while you preach abstinence.. gimme a break

    June 10, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  18. the southern progressive

    quite frankly, i have alot of friends who are republican, i like them, just dont understand their political ideology, i can understand their confusion when it comes to the leader of their party,,, but quite frankly, i wouldnt want any of them, lindbuagh, gingrich, cheney, mccain, steele, romney, bush or palin, as the party leader of my party. sucks for republicans. their is a racial slur bout chiefs and indians that would be perfect for this situation, but i wont degrade native americans by any comparison to the GOP.

    June 10, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  19. chucky1169469

    what happened to Sarah Palin?

    June 10, 2009 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  20. darko

    So, having a multitude of leaders is bad with varying viewpoints is bad?

    I find the situation better than following blindly to the whims of 1 person...ala obama. Before him it was Pelosi. Not such a good example, eh?

    As a conservative I like certain positions that newt, rush, cheney and even McCain have... I don't like them all, and I don't expect to. It's called 'thinking' ...something the Obots know little about.

    June 10, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  21. CW

    It is time for a third party. republicans and democrats are out of touch with the American people.

    June 10, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. LibertyQueen

    Oh, and Jon Voight...no wonder his daughter doesn't talk to him...what a creep!

    June 10, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  23. Lisa M.

    Newt is old news. Rush is really off the beam. Cheney please! Come on guys give us some loyal opposition we can at least tolerate. Moderation and not saying No to everything is the key!

    June 10, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  24. Duane

    The GOP will be just fine......they really don't need to do anything other than sit back and watch the libs screw up everything with their uncontrollable spending and take overs.....I'm just wondering who Oprah will pick for the next democratic nominee......:o)

    Let’s see....Obama is in the automotive manufacturing business and banking business and he wants to run the health care business.....what socialism?

    June 10, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  25. Eric

    Limbaugh is the leader, that should be the headline. It's actualy kind of scary considering there is no viable opposition right now. Time to give Ron Paul some air time, since he is the only one who is able to bring forth sound arguments that are not racist, xenophobic or paranoid.

    June 10, 2009 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
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