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. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    How can the GOP have a coherent, consistent mouthpiece when its "values" are a mish-mash of contradictions...."Pro Life" but only for the unborn (white fetuses in particular), Pro War when there's money to be made and other people's resources to control, Pro Democracy yet proponents of huge invasive Federal powers and thus giving America the highest incarceration rate and prison population of any country, Pro Woman while offering voters the tragically comedic Sarah Palin, Pro fiscal conservatism while having trashed a huge budget surplus it inherited and replacing that with a record breaking deficit. Yup, they need a mouthpiece for that travesty of a platform...so it looks like we are stuck with more Limbaugh and Palin and Gingrich and Cheney rants for a while to come.

    June 10, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Anonymous

    Rush Limbaugh is the man with the plan when it comes to the GOP. What's sad is that most of the elected GOP fears speaking out against him. His latest incredibly ridiculous statement was said a few days ago in that "Barack Obama did not inherit a mess. He inherited the United State of America, where anything is possible." Rush added: "There is nothing to apologize for what he inherited. He may as well be a 5-year-old crybaby spoiled brat:"

    He later went on to say ""Obama is destroying what others before him created. He did not inherit a mess. He has created one. And as the mess he creates deepens, so does his blaming it on his predecessors. That is gutless. It is childish. It is immature. It is unbecoming someone who serves as president of the United States."

    This is a man that should have is broadcast license taking away from him because now he is spreading down right lies and falsehoods over the "PUBLIC ALLY OWNED" air waves. The good news is that the GOP as a whole are too scared, stupid and rooted in hatred to distance themselves from this moron which will prove to be the end of the GOP/Conservative movement in this country.

    Thank You Rush

    A Great American

    June 10, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  3. J

    Of the 4 pictures I hope that McCain would be the one they see as the leader of their party..


    June 10, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. RepubliKLANs Are Stupid As Stupid Does

    Does the Got "0" Plans party of hate & bigotry still exist? I doubt it!!!!

    June 10, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  5. Mike

    I thought it was Jon Voight!

    June 10, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  6. Tom in Pa

    Hey I say it is Rush – he truly has done a great job of creating a picture of what the Republicans stand for!

    June 10, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  7. Bernard

    The pic looks like an Ad for the next AARP Brochure.

    June 10, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. joe smith

    if nothing else, it might be a good idea to go back and look at the numbers, ( you know, the numbers game ), but instead of fudging the numbers, but pull all Ron Pauls' numbers, ( given he had NO press coverage ), you will find an amazing thing..had the playing field been level, this viable candidate would have put the Republicans in a better position now, with less internal strife..the press, the bildenbergers, and the other illuminati of the world of course can't let this happen..can they..it's like trying to get the Freddie Mac report..say what, you want answers..forget a'bout it..

    June 10, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Dan Holiday

    I guess the GOP should also be afraid of the newest poll from Rasmussen. It says that more people favor the GOP over the democrats in regards to all of the most important issues concerning Americans (Economy, National Security, Taxes, Iraq, Ethics reform, and Immigration). Oh wait, that is good news for the GOP. I forgot. That does not get posted on CNN tickers because the hired bloggers from the Democratic party cannot use their tired old talking points and catch phrases when it comes to dealing with fact...lol. Try blaming Bush for that, or saying old tired white guy, or Haliburton, and Palin is a bimbo, or party or No. Frankly, the American people think those talking points are nothing but juvenile, bitter, remarks from juvenile, bitter individuals, and come 2010 the people of this country will go to the polls and prove how feed up they are. : )

    The Democrats are the true party of NO. No relief for the tax payers. No accountability when it comes to spending our money. No transparency in government. No help to the middle class. No to ideas that will help, and No to including the GOP and American citizens into the debate on how to make this country better.

    June 10, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  10. Jose

    Rush Limbaugh is the best voice of the GOP because he represents what the GOP is all about: Old, white, fat, rich, hypocritical.

    June 10, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  11. Jack/ret.

    There is a big gap opening up 'in the Middle' for the formation of a viable hird Party. About half of Americans are mildly fiscal conservatives and mildly social liberals...not unlike the majority in most western democracies whether it be Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, etc.

    A third party that may succeed when it is a positive choice and not because it is 'not' one of the other two parties. It's difficult to know the dynamics in 2012 but a viable third option would siphonoff even more moderates from the GOP and leave the GOP to the born agains, bigots, and such. The Dems might lose moderate supporters and become largely the party of visible minorites.

    June 10, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  12. EDDIE

    That picture say's everything about the GOP.They got nothing.It is the party of being unorganized ,no direction,no leadership.And does not seem to know what they stand for.

    June 10, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. kate wootton

    just look at the picture attached to this story of these four old, mean, white has-been men ... do you need any more of an explanation of why the GOP is out of step, out of touch, out of contention?

    June 10, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. JWM

    What about Palin?

    June 10, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  15. howard natenshon

    This is much like choosing between a broken leg,and a root canal.

    June 10, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  16. changing my screen name to see if it helps getting my comments posted

    I know who speaks for the GOP. The radical, religious right.

    June 10, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  17. Arkansan

    If one third of the Republican Party believes that they should stick to the current, social darwinist, pro-corporate, anti-science, anti-environmental, anti-working class line, then it means two thirds want to go somewhere else. If that third had won the election in 2008, this nation and this world would now be experiencing a world-wide economic depression that would make the 1930s look like a piker. I realize there are those who simply will not accept that reality, but most American people seem to be listening to the Republican leadership and understanding what they are saying and have rejected them. They are a dangerous bunch both in domestic and foreign policy. It appears that most people continue to rate President Obama's bipartisan administration very high in its attempt to guide us both through this recession and to lead the world toward peaceful coexistence.

    June 10, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Too True For You

    Without a doubt the conservatives will pooh-pooh this survey since
    a) it is not a Fox survey therefore it's just more "librul" media bias
    b) It does not reflect favorably on them, so it can't be true
    c) it did not crown Rush, and you are doomed if you cross Rush
    d) it did not condemn Obama, a neocon prerequisite for acceptance

    June 10, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. JoeFromIndy

    Like the Democrats in the early 1980s, the Republicans deserve whatever they get for saying a lot, but doing nothing for the last 8 years. These Republican hypocrites are too consumed with themselves and their lofty, abstract, "ideals." Yet they have managed to backtrack or oppose every "brand" they have given themselves over the last 8 years. First, it was "family values" followed by more sexual scandals and corruption scandals than any party had ever seen. Second, it was "national security" and "safety" followed by false information, stubborness, and unwillingness to admit they were wrong. Where are the WMD's? Third, it was the "country first" fiasco presented by McCain/Palin. LOL!!! Yet, the majority of voters managed to see through that smoke screen.

    So now, their challenge is to "redefine" themselves for the 30th time and hope someone catches on. Micheal Steele will hip-hop-enize them from the front while Rush Limbaugh puts the white sheets over their heads from the back. LOL!!!

    June 10, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  20. KGC

    It's the message, not the messenger. Unlike Democrats, content matters to Republicans; they don't get hung up on deity worship.

    June 10, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Sniffit

    Pretty much doesn't matter though, does it? Pick your poison GOPers...every one of those people is toxic to your survival.

    June 10, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Mark

    As long as the GOP mouthpieces continue spewing the same old tirades as in the past they will continue to be in disaray. Even with the current issues in the Obama adminisration, they are at least trying new things to move this country forward and become a true global partner.

    June 10, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  23. lou

    Pack it up boys; you're toast!!! What a four pack of worthless; brainless; spineless representation. I am ashamed that once I was a republican... some of this characters are criminals for crimes against humanity; the other a drug addict; unfaithful and just plain clueless.

    June 10, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  24. Tiaunia

    Are we really suprised?
    Not that a million people were polled, but it gives light to where this dark party is going, hopefully they take heed and grow up.

    June 10, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  25. Jayden,FL

    Well that's not a surprise now is it!

    June 10, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
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