June 10th, 2009
03:29 PM ET
6 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. Tom Swift - Shopton NY

    `

    It is pretty obvious that party boss Rush Limbaugh speaks for the party.

    If any of the wannabe leaders "mispeak", he takes them to task, and they fall in line.

    June 10, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Richard L

    You know your party is in deep trouble when the main person to speak for it is a 4-time married, convicted drug user with a high school degree.

    June 10, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  3. M. Jan, Exton, Pa.

    GOP in bigger trouble if 13% like Russ Limbaugh as speaker of GOP.
    Russ Limbaugh has no class.

    June 10, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  4. Biased

    Right at the moment there is no "one" speaker. They are trying to rebuild but when the media parrots the Obama line of Rush is the leader or Cheney or any other republican who spouts off, then people will remember the names they hear most often. The attacks against Palin continue at will. Can you also tell me when the media also talk about the republicans' comments or ideas towards anything other than again parroting them as the party of "no"? I thought I heard democrats parrot no pretty often too during the Bush years. Being an independent and not slavish to either party feels pretty good and it also lets you see that the media is more biased in favor of Obama than they will ever admit.

    June 10, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. John

    What, nobody cited Palin? Maybe there's hope for the Republicans after all.

    June 10, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Ch in Maine

    Poll: Majority unsure who speaks for the GOP

    This hardly bad news for Republicans. If any of these guys oth.er than McCain were the leader that would be bad news for us all. They are playing an eleborate shell game in which the real leader is kept a mystery. It is like the MX missle for politics. Once the Dems find out who leads the GOP he or she will be the bad news

    Good news though Mitt Romney was not considered.

    June 10, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. Linda

    WOW!! If most feel Limbaugh speaks for the Republican Party, the party is in deep doo doo!!!

    June 10, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. Yikes!

    Wow... I know we're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but take a good long look at the four faces CNN has attached to this article. Only McCain appears to be trying to crack the slightest smile. The other three faces in that image look like they 've never seen any fun in their lives. Of course, CNN probably picked these pictures because it gives off the impression of angry old men running the GOP, but nevertheless the image is rathering sobering, in context with what the article is about.

    June 10, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Who speaks for the GOP? I sure hope it's not one of the four bozos shown in the picture.

    June 10, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  10. Dana

    Who is the GOP leader? Let's see: he's an old white male, believes in "enhanced interrogation", and is still vocal in his support of policies of the Bush administration that led us to unnecessary war, economic disaster, and tarnished national reputation. His criticism of Obama is reflexive, loud and vicious, but short on facts. So, you can see how it could be any of them.

    June 10, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. steve

    the democrats are failing to the point of complete financial destruction of this country. mickey mouse could run in 2012 for the republicans and would win. obama is mentaly confused, he is a narcissist.

    June 10, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  12. praveen

    Oh what great news. In 2004 after George Bush won and the Dems were in shambles, they were also in the same situation. Things change. so be a bit patient Obama News Network, rebublicans will have a leader in time, and till then CNN can make hay when the sun shines.

    June 10, 2009 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  13. Jim

    The Republicans will regroup and reclaim the White House in just 3 and 1/2 years....thanks in large part to Barack Obama, who is running the economy into the ground. You can't blame Bush anymore!

    June 10, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. Peoples Voice

    It does not matter who their main speaker is. They all read from the same talking points memo. And, it's always the same message... no, no, no... where's the birth certificate, no,no,no... he's a Muslim, no, no, no...he's a failure, no,no,no...lower taxes for the rich, etc.

    June 10, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  15. Mary, Beaver, PA

    As a REAL conservative (not a neo-Con) whose parents were both Republicans (and who, if alive, would not support this party in its current state), I say let them tear the party apart. Until the Republicans return to their fiscally conservative-socially libertarian roots, I couldn't care less how far they go down the toilet.

    June 10, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  16. brian

    Just further illustrations of the disarray of the republican party and why so many of us have left and become independants (or democrats). In my opinion the only salvation will be if and when the party splits into a christian republican party and a republican libertarian party. until then, the only one to reap the benifits will be the left wing of the democratic party as they gain impetus to move the party away from its moderate stance.

    June 10, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. David

    It seems clear that their benchmark for leadership is anyone with the LOUDEST voice, who is able to get press by saying anything NEGATIVE or just NO, to the Obama Administration. Or saying anything NEGATIVE toward anyone who does not have the same negative view of the world, including other members of their own religious/political/fear/war mongering extremist group.

    June 10, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. Eddie

    [insert voice of Nelson from the Simpsons]

    Ha–HA!

    June 10, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  19. Barbara

    Wow... looking at those 4 photos tells the story

    We are sick and tired of fat old white men running this country !
    Sorry guys, the gig is over !

    June 10, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. sprkl12000

    Wow...Micheal Steele gets no respect...sad

    June 10, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. Lee W. in Raleigh, NC

    My suggestion for the GOP - return to more closely resemble what you were in 1969 when I registered GOP: fiscal responsibility and little government intrusion into people's lives. That means leave religion to church leaders. And then add some 21st century necessities along the lines of energy and conservation.

    June 10, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  22. George Hayduke

    Just take a look at those four guys in the picture. A more dour bunch of pasty faced old white guys you couldn't find if you tried (OK the Sunday morning round table guys come close).

    Talk about being out of touch, none of these guys has a clue or for that matter cares about you and me. I include McCain in that bunch since he did the Palin thing and proved that he can pander with the best of them.

    These guys are political zombies, someone find a silver bullet and put them out of our misery. Where's Colin Powell when you need him?

    June 10, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  23. J Thompson

    Discombobulated, in disarray = dismissed.

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

    Okay, so who speaks for the Democratic Party? President Obama? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? George Soros? Bill Maher? Bill Ayers? Jeremiah Wright? Patty Sheehan? Jimmy Carter?

    Personally, I prefer the Democratic leadership views of Zell Miller and Joe Lieberman.

    June 10, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  25. Harvey for Obama

    Republicans need to get their act together. They seem not to understand why they lost the last two elections.

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