June 10th, 2009
03:29 PM ET
5 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.


Filed under: GOP • Popular Posts
soundoff (278 Responses)
  1. RayS

    REPUBLICANS NEED TO RETIRE THOSE OLD BOYS IN THEIR COUNTRY CLUB. That is the only way they can start re-inventing their image. Get the younger ones with innovative ideas move up. I still think they are elitist and the government for the few; gungho on military might and making world wars.

    June 10, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Josh in TN

    The Republican Party might as well put their sheets on and stop wasting money on suits. The entire world sees their games and hatred. It is amusing to see snakes bite each other isn't it.

    June 10, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. bruce

    Republicans "get a clue" and stop whinning .

    This country needs more positive initiatives from both parties. This means working together.

    Both parties will benefit from cooperative, successful legislation .

    The republicans have just as much to gain from this administration's success, if they join in.

    Get with the program !

    June 10, 2009 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  4. Alan

    I'm not surprised. When Jon Voigt speaks out and is defended by the rabid 1/3rd, declaring the president basically a "false prophet", you know they're in trouble. These are the same people who constantly blast ANY "celebrity" who speaks out in FAVOR of Obama or the Democrats as being not relevant because they're "just actors" or "just singers."

    Republicans: here's your recipe for getting back in the game - STOP THE HYPOCRISY! And second step: stop defending your hypocisy by pointing to the other side and saying "they do it to."

    June 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  5. Drew

    Problems for the Republicans?....Good.

    June 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Adam

    looks like the repubs have become the old white man party with narrow beliefs

    June 10, 2009 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  7. D. Tree

    ha ha ha, well I can tell you one thing: it ISN'T going to be one of the old, out of touch, men pictured above!

    Despite what their egos may be telling them: they are the PAST, not the future!

    June 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  8. Ryan (Charleston SC)

    This is an absolutely rediculous headline. Who cares if the GOP does not have a clear leader. We are 3 1/2 years from the next general election. Someone please inform me who was the Dem "spokesman" in early 2005. Was it Gore?, Kerry? , or that crazy dem chairman from Vermont. I am more than happy to not have a single spokesman for the GOP at the current moment as it gives the GOP time to weed out the weak and regroup. I see many young rising stars in the GOP (Jindal,Cantor,Ryan) and beleive the future will be bright. I am more then happy to let the Dem's have Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid be the spokesmen for their party. Americans are beginning to wake up and realize what socialism is and they are not liking it. Things will change mark my words.

    June 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  9. Sean

    Whats wrong with the republican party? Just look at the picture. Old White Guys.
    The GOP needs new leaders, new ideas, and new types of people.

    June 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  10. Roy

    It really doesn't matter who the voice of the Republican party is. None of them haven anything important to say.

    June 10, 2009 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  11. MJ Conway

    Even a majority of Republicans ascribe Rush as their spokesperson! Seriously?

    June 10, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  12. Vince from DE

    This economy is on the verge of collapse and the Fed is desperately trying to act to prevent it. Unfortunately much of the energy and capital expended in this effort is going into HIDING their actions and DISGUISING the nature, historical causes, and political machinations that started and are contributing to the collapse. I don't care who the leader of the Democrats or the Republicans are. I'm taking stock of my food and water supply and urban escape routes, and you should too.

    June 10, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. Jim S

    As long as Republicans continue to pay homage to the right wing extremist hate filled demogogues, Rush Limbaugh and Shaun Hannity and Ann Coulter, they will not win another election. Americans prefer a solution to our monumental problems rather than listen to a bunch of ideological nuts who try to stir up discord with their rants and lies at a time when this nation needs sanity, pulling together and positive thinking. These three are simply destroying what's left of the Republican party better than the democrats ever could and the Republicans act as if they don't even know it. Sad!

    June 10, 2009 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  14. Paul from Phoenix

    Personally, I think this is a good thing. I am not happy with any of the people named in this survey as leaders of the party, with a possible exception for Boehner.

    The party needs new blood if they expect to win back people like myself.

    And for libs who are gonna post that the GOP is dead, remember, this is exactly where the Dem party was in 2002. Bush became the first President to pick up seats in his first midterm election, and the largest Dem voice turned out to be Kerry. Guh.

    Partys need to go through a house cleaning every decade or so.

    June 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  15. GOPer

    Not good news but we have time to recover. I'm just happy Palin didnt show up on this list. She was a complete disaster on Hannity trying to talk about the economy.

    June 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  16. brad

    Wow. I didn't know it was that bad. However, can't say that I am weeping. Although, I would like to see a strong inclusive party with real intelligent ideas. Its dangerous for one party to dominate. Debate with substance is healthy. And I am not seeing that from the Republicans.

    June 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  17. phoenix86

    It could be much much worse. They could have Obama, Pelosi and Reid speaking for them like the dems do.

    June 10, 2009 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  18. Mr. Man

    It's interesting to see GOP feed on themselves. The country is moving on, thank goodness.

    June 10, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  19. kendal

    People are tired of all the negative shrilling from the GOP. The party needs to bring in fresh voices and a better outlook for the future.

    June 10, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  20. Larry Roo

    Leadership involves positive direction. As long as it remains the partyy of "no" and has as its reason to exist as opposition to everything proposed by the President the Republican Party will be both rudderless and irrelevant. Its sole support will come from the idealogues and the haters wrapped in the flag and fearful of change.

    June 10, 2009 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  21. Buffalo

    It should be an embarrassment for the GOP that a non-politician would be their spokesman. Imagine if the the spokeman for the Catholic church were a businessman rather than the Pope. In all honesty, the best thing the Republican Party could do to get their followers to listen – actually pay attention to responsible conservative dialog – is silence Fox News and neoconservative talk radio. Alas, the GOP does not have the backbone to try and separate "their" church (big business) from "their" politics.

    June 10, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  22. Jennifer NY

    The best person that the Republicans can put up is Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. He is a businessman, and understands the economy. He is also a moderate, not a right-wing nut job. The extremists will never win, and should get out of the way so that real contenders can run. The other best Republican is Chuck Hagel, who is a Vietnam vet, a former international businessman and former Senator. He is very smart, Washington savvy, and military savvy having served on the Senate Armed Forces Committee.

    June 10, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  23. Michael

    The republican party cannot be successful as a party of exclussion. Recent comments by the likes of Rush have severed notice that unless you agree 100% with what they believe, you are not welcome. Just look at the comments made towards Colin Powell and John McCain, life long republicans. This is a formula for failure and does nothing to resemble the grand ole' party it use to be. They need a voice that can unite republicans and not divide or alienate them. This country has long supported "moderates", regardless of which party they represent. If they continue along the current path of exclussion, they have no chance of regaining power.

    June 10, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  24. Michael

    When the most readily identifiable symbol of your party is an unelected, corpulent gasbag like Limbaugh, you know you're in trouble.

    The good news for the GOP, I supppose, is that there's nowhere to go but up.

    June 10, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  25. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Colin Powell should be the leader of the Republican Party. The rest of the idiots in that party can learn a thing or two from Gen. Powell.

    June 10, 2009 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
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