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. Justin

    What do you see in the picture. The same old persons over and over again. The Republican Party need fresh young faces that can bring in the younger voters. They also need one voice leading them. Once they do that they can then unite the party instead of it being divided.

    June 10, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  2. Patriot1028

    What a joke! You use a poll from the Obama controlled USA Today? Try polling the Democratic Party. Who knows who is truly in charge? Barack? Nancy? Harry? Joe? They certainly do not speak as one... What a silly article.

    June 10, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  3. Mark

    All that means is we don't have a rockstar figurehead like Obama. Well, who does? Who spoke for the Dems from 2000-2008? No one important.

    June 10, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  4. Bassman

    This poll says more about media bias then it does about Republican leadership. Did the media ever ask Democrates "Is Keith Olbermann the face of your party? No, of course not. John McCain has set the right tone, and should be seen by the media as the face and voice of the Republican party. He caries the scars, and should be respected. This is his party.

    June 10, 2009 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  5. Crash Master

    The more Rush, Palin and Cheney talk, the deeper the hole. Aren't they smart enough to see this?

    June 10, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  6. the dude

    that is no big suprise. Looking back, John McCain actually seems like a nice moderate leader compared to the rest of the retreads, wannabees and those with an ax to grind.

    they need a leader–and at the moment, anyone with enough savvy and character to lead them doesn't want to touch Newt, Sarah, Rush, Karl or Dick with a ten-foot pole...hence, the problem.

    June 10, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  7. jim

    Fat Rich Hateful Old White Guys.
    That's the GOP.
    You can "rebrand" the party all you want, but facts is facts is facts.
    Fat Rich Hateful Old White Guys.

    June 10, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  8. John in Austin

    GOP – Same Old Thing, Same Old People.

    June 10, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  9. gl, From Pittsburgh

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

    And you will never regain power simple as that. RIP

    June 10, 2009 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  10. john u

    Thanks Rush, Newt & Cheney....you're doing a great job.....not even your noise machine on FOX seems to be helping you, and no mention of Sarah Palin either!

    June 10, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  11. Frisky

    Old.
    White.
    Men.

    Take a look in the mirror GOP and join this century. You are overlooking tons of talent but you need to join this century.

    June 10, 2009 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  12. Duc Luu

    What a shock!
    Except Mr. McCain the first three have been doing a pretty good job of not being able to keep their mouths shut on everything Obama does. To make the matter worse, they even went on offensive and attacked one of their most prominent respected GOP icon, Gen. Powell. They have not learned from the past election. Young voters got tired of attacks and divisive politics. Younger generations are willing to look for the common grounds (from both parties) to make things better from the neutral zones. GOP has not leared how to listen. Right now it is still a bunch of ignorant, arrogant, and stuck up fellows who think their golden time is not over yet. GOP sounds like "Grand Old Polluted (party) to me. Just settle down, listen, and they would be able to identify themselves and start it from their. Ciao

    June 10, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. Jim

    I used to consider myself a Republican , but no longer. I just consider myself a conservative. The party is going to have to do better than those four if they want to win any elections. They need someone who doesn't come off as an angry old man.

    June 10, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  14. Cromwell

    It doesn't matter who speaks for the Republican Party.
    They all say the same thing.

    It's the same old Supply-Side, Trickle-Down, Taxcuts for the rich, Deregulation, Anti-Labor diatribe that the Republicans have been chanting for a hundred years.

    Twice, in less than a Century, the Republican Supply-Siders have created an economic depression and now they say that we need more tax-cuts and deregulation.

    The Republicans love to quote Ronald Reagan's mantra; "Government isn't the solution, Government is the problem."
    When the Republicans are in control, government really is the problem. The Republicans make sure that government doesn't work.

    June 10, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  15. AustHall

    If the Republicans want to remain a viable party, then they should offer concrete plans and solutions to the real and relevant issues of the American people.

    Just criticizing President Obama and the Democrats and saying no without offering any alternatives is a dead end that will continue to lead to the ongoing decline and irrelevance of the GOP

    June 10, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  16. Rob

    GOPres are going down the drain if these oldies keep talking and bashing there old slogan fearmongring. tax cut for the rich. I don't see any young ang progracive idias in GOP who can srear it in 21st century. It is still not late to support young and vibrent OBAMA administration for ther support in healthcare reform, economy , create jobs and finish two war and bring troops back to there family.

    June 10, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  17. Ivan

    At last a sign that the repubs are waking up to reality. If limbo is the best they can come up with, there's hope for the country.

    June 10, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. Henry Miller

    The reason no one thinks Limbaugh, Cheney, McCain, or Gingrich represent the GOP is because these neo-con dinosaurs aren't, and never have been, true Republicans. The lot of them are Big Government, big spending, paranoiacs who disgrace the name of Barry Goldwater. These people somehow managed to steal the name of the Republican Party, but never had the slightest interest in living up to the philosophies the party once represented.

    The only real Republican left in the GOP is, it appears, Ron Paul.

    June 10, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Wesley

    The republicas needs a message to convey to the American people. Everytime one of them come on TV all they do is whine and whine and attack the president. Where is the message? Being the opposition party is ok but when you oppose something, offer a solution to the problems we face as Americans. The republicans offers nothing new that might interest more than the party robots.

    June 10, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  20. UNEDUCATED AMERICA

    if they wanted to beat the other half of the party- the democrats- they would put Ron Paul in front-

    if they wanted to beat the other half of the party- the neo-cons- they would put Ron Paul in front-

    Ron Paul was right about the collapse of the credit & housing markets during the debates.

    Ron Paul was right about the bailouts not stopping the bankruptcy of the PRIVATELY HELD auto makers.

    When will Americans understand the Constitution is allways right, the free market will always win, even though we havent had a free market in decades, it did not fail- the central bankers and economic planners failed- socialism failed, and now we are getting marxism from the current admin.

    June 10, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  21. gonzo1957

    Could it be that people don't see any clear leaders because the only thing teleivised (or more accurately, shoved down their throats) every hour of everyday is what Rush or Newt have to say?

    Last time I checked neither of these two hold any office, do not vote in the Senate and therefore, do not make ANY policies or laws.

    If Dems expect to be taken serioulsy, it's time to put this ridiculous propaganda battle along with their all too fragile egos aside and stop worrying and whinning about what either of them think. They are irrelevant.

    June 10, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  22. “These numbers are troubling for Republicans"

    good, they earned it, deserve it and I hope they ride these numbers as the GOP goes down in flames and up rises the independant party

    bye bye GOP

    June 10, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  23. MEL IN florida

    All of them sound the same. The worst I heard so far was Gingrich, not a citizen of the world???? sorry, but no one was to be a bad citizen, here in our nation or any other place in our world, and that's exactly the message that President Barack Obama comunicated to the world. We want peace, and if the whole world unites and we all work together for a better future for our children. I do truly believe that we are aiming in the right direction. We had seen with our own eyes how things have progress for the past eight years. pre-facricated war. over spending, healthcare, education, veterans forgatten, they claim that is the media, but we know better. enough, and yes we can. Thank you President Barack Obama.

    June 10, 2009 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  24. ONCE UPON A HORSE

    no matter who may be speaking for the GOP right now from Mike Steele to Joe the Plumber NONE of them seem to have a message that a majority of Americans want to listen to. Seems like only both of the McCains are talking sense and when they do they get shouted down by the right wing of the party. Until their infighting stops and they come up with some sort of idenity other than just saying "NO" to President Obama and griping like little kids that can't accept the fact that they lost and the message they are sending is only acceptable to 33% of the population, doesn'y matter who the leader is.

    June 10, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  25. Gail

    How about showing the latest polls on Democrats? Most Americans are now independants. The Democrats have been losing voters too. I guess that would be too hard for CNN to report. After all you have to report only what Obama tells you to report.

    June 10, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
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