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. The Unshrub

    And they still won't learn. As a former republican, I am tired of the way they are acting. Being a conservative is not just in the pocket-book and it definitely NOT about the religious right . The only thing that defines a modern day conservative is that they do not want to spend any money. For a true conservative that is not on the top of the list. It is individual and state rights, and no matter what Rush and those other fools are saying, the republican party is not supporting those rights. The extreme religiously right is more interested in using the republican party for their own agenda. I do not see the republicans returning to the days of being the party of true conservatives anytime soon, and until that time I will continue to support Democrats. They may not be perfect, but they are a whole lot better than republicans.

    June 10, 2009 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Walk With Honor

    This is a party that doesn't stand for anything. They exhibit NO HONOR. They don't offer solutions, they only through CRAP on the table. We Americans dont' like that.

    PAY-AS-YOU-GO is a good example. There is NOTHING wrong with that idea. Yet all the GOP wants to do is complain about the stimulus bill because they HOPE to score political points if the country thinks of that as massive spending tied to the President.

    – Never mind it includes both tax cuts and spending.
    – Never mind that it was necessary due to Republican ineptitude over the past 8 years.

    President Obama is staking out the fiscally responsible ground with an idead, with a plan, with action and all the GOP can do is complain that it should have been done sooner.

    Yeah, it should have been ... about 8 years ago. So GOP, how are you going to add value?

    June 10, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    No wonder the GOP has turned into an obstructionist party devoid of any good ideas or philosophies. This is sad because the health of the American political system requires the loyal minority opposition party to offer substantive alternative ideas and policies.

    June 10, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. Lara

    I think we need to take a look at who is elected into office. Back ground checks should be made. Seems like there are a lot of nuts in office. How can you have peace outside of the our Country when the Republicans and the Democrates can't keep peace in Washington, DC or as we see in New York!!!

    June 10, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Eric

    Darn it! Sarah Palin didn't even make 1%

    June 10, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Doug Malott

    Let's start with PR and marketing. The Republicans are the worst at it I've ever seen. They need to hire a high powered PR firm that can help them get a brand mesage out there and stick to it. Remember " It's the economy stupid . Or Obama's simplistic "Change." Can anyone remember McCain's message? I didn't think so. They also need to stand
    up to the liberal media at every turn. They are the most silent, "just take it" bunch out there. It's pathetic. I know it's tough with the media in the tank for the Democrats, but it's got to be done. Also, don't waver one inch from
    conservative principles. Obama will fall on his face and people will realize the Republican way is the American way. At this point what do you have to lose? DO SOMETHING NOW.

    June 10, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  7. New Era


    Is Steele just a token for the GOP? I don't see his face amongst the Repubs Who's Who.

    June 10, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  8. Roxanne Kachel

    1. How is it that a known opiate addict/radio talk show host can hold any credence with anyone in any political arena?

    2. Dick Cheney is no longer Vice President. He already made a killing in more ways than one. Retire already.

    3. Same goes for George W. Bush.

    4. John McCain you lost....

    5. Newt Gingrich give it up

    This country is ready for a fresh start and real, positive change.

    By the way, if anyone is a false prophet it's George W. Bush winning the war on terror...Ha. More like making sure he's sitting pretty while he watches the rest of the country lose their shirts at his expense.

    June 10, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  9. max pargament

    Everyone of those 4 people pictured in that photo are ignorant, racist people. They rely more on bigotry and religion than any government policy to persuade their base. The fact that people are unsure which of these men leads the party is great.

    I'm not a republican but there are some good ones like: Colin Powell and Ron Paul, who use their intelligence/political theories to make points rather than blame everything on immigrants, democrats, gays, and the usual rhetoric that comes out of their mouth. Furthermore I could see both of those men actually saying "I made a mistake" OR "we were wrong". You never hear republicans self reflect like that.

    I think the republican constituency is finally realizing (to some extent) that the ideas that are so crucial to their party: namely not producing a deficit and smaller government ; were grossly violated by the last republican administration while it spewed out its normal rhetoric to defend itself while everything went in the toilet.

    June 10, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  10. Wendy Crews

    I have been a republican all of my life until now. I voted for Obama because Sarah Palin is totally unacceptable for vice president much less president of the US. I probably at this point will never go back to the Republican Party. The Republicans' behavior following the election is disgraceful. They are sore losers, Cheney and Bush almost totally ruined our country and the Republicans need to get into the real world. I had an abortion and never once regretted it. I had to drive to Mexico because it was illegal in the US, and I could have died on the operating table, luckily I didn't. Also, I firmly believe (after listening to so many gays) that the gays are born gays and they are totally discriminated against by the Republicans. In addition, the Republicans need to get rid of these religious idiots. They have only harmed the Republican Party, and the religious right is the most judgmental group of people, and I run from them. Wendy Crews

    June 10, 2009 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  11. Dave

    It is the party of white, greedy, mean spirited old men. Out of th four pictured, three cheated on their wives, three avoided the draft, one was a drug addict, and one has a lesbian daughter and yet is against the rights of gay people. With this in charge, how can you possibly be a party that deserves respect.

    June 10, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  12. Tim

    Hmmmm ... there's something that they all seem to have in common .... cant quite put my finger on it. Oh wait, I get it they are all old grey-haired white guys. Could that be their problem??

    June 10, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. PFFT

    I'm a Republican, and proud of it. But, I have NO clue who speaks for the national party. I speak for my beliefs. And I know that no one in the Democratic leadership speaks toward any of my concerns.

    It's time that the leadership of the GOP get it's damned act together and find a solution – stop the finger pointing. Stop the bickering. And stop the destruction of this country by the Socialist party now in control.

    That can only be done if the GOP realizes that the Country comes first, not politics. Not cronyism. Not the doom-sayers.

    I want my country back.

    June 10, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  14. American Patriot

    Actually I will put Dr Ron Paul against any GOP candidate in a debate and Dr Paul will smoke them on every topic. Then he will address their corruption and their voting record of corruption.

    Compared to the last GOP candidates for President, Ron Paul was a mental GIANT.......

    The GOP is looking to see who they can make popular, not who is best qualified to lead the party or even have a chance of winning.

    The Media on purpose shut Dr Ron Paul out of several Presidenial debates by not allowing him to speak.

    The fact is the Republicans were and are corrupt. During the corrupt Bush years numerous GOP people were arrested for corruption.
    Thier Bush administration so far has gotten away with illegally wire tapping Citizens phones,torturing inmates and breaking several genieva Conventions, a stated by General Petrayous.

    Yet none of them have been indicted, again corruption.

    There is a movement in the country and it is called a REVOLUTION.

    We all watched as Tea Party Tax revolts were held all over the US.

    Now on September 12th there is a Million man March planned on Washington.

    In the forst week of announcement over 2 Million RSVP's.

    The number is now over 5 MILLION.

    The people are untiting and they have had enough of thievery and corruption from both parties.


    June 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  15. Limbaugh is a Liberal

    Take a note media: Romney, Cheney's and McCain's daughters, as well as Sarah Palin are NOT on the list! So stop pushing their opinions when obviously nobody cares about them!

    June 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  16. Gary

    Any CNN poll shows the intellegence of the people who believe what these guys read regardsless of the truth of it.
    Every independant, and democrat I speak too are actually as disgusted by their democrats in congress as they are any republican. This joke of a president will look stupid in 2010 when he doesn't have onlly Dems giving him stuff to sign, and CNN has to start reporting on both sides.
    Keep Obama's Nation out of my Village !!!

    June 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. stephen ransom

    Please clear up for me whether or not Newt Gingrich is a Christian. When he spoke at the GOP dinner, he mentioned that he is not a citizen of the world. If he's a Christian it seem that the remark he made is thumbing his nose up to Jesus, our Lord. It was Jesus that commissioned the Christian to go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. According to his comment, it sounds to me that he's not too crazy about that commission.

    June 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. don

    Ithought it was Jon Voight!

    June 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Gene Frain

    The party of Rush and Southern rednecks

    June 10, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Riitta Carufel, San Diego,CA

    One picture says more than thousands words.
    We have angry, old white men opposing to everything which begs a change.
    And they have only a vaguest of an idea that somehow the younger generations are not following their "conserve and keep the status quo" policies any more.

    June 10, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  21. paul

    I can careless about the republican party of rich white old men (basically pale and stale). When politicians forget about the workers and side with big corporate america, well there is a reason for greed, reason why the top 1% got richer and the 99% of workers struggle. there is no bailout for the average worker, heck we get to pay for this mess, and ensure top managers get their big pay day. The middle class is no more, and the republican party support the values of corporate america, and fail to represent a view of how to improve the quality of american lives. The big no party. they need to suffer the pains of reality.

    June 10, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |

    Just pick any OLD,FAT, ARROGANT,and JUDGEMENTAL white guy stuck in the past and he'll be your guy.....Same product, just different packaging.

    June 10, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  23. Nancy - Houston

    When I saw the mean-spirited Republicans, especially Newt Gringich, Bob Dole and Henry Hyde (and others) continually trying to sabatoge Pres. Clinton's presidency at every turn, not even including his indiscretion, I decided I was through with that party. I can't think of even one possible potential candidate who might make me change my mind.

    June 10, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  24. Republicans Are Like Beauty Queens That Got Last Place, they cry...and their moms complain about the judges.

    LMAO DUH!!! The Grand Oil Party LOVES to talk about how liberals bow to hollywood. Well...they bowed to Ron & Arnold. Both horrible actors as well as horrible politicians.

    Yes...Reagan IS the reason we are in this mess-DE-REGULATION started with that idiot. He dismantled our infrastructure funding...I.E. roads, bridges, schools, etc.

    NOW...the Grand NO Party is listening to a wanna-be with an Oxi problem and a mean spirit!!! WOW...I can't wait to watch the 21%'ers wonder through the forest for a decade.

    June 10, 2009 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. Hannah Stevens

    Just look at the faces with this article and it tells it all; bitter, old white men. Oh, there is Bobby Jindahl, and Sarah Palin, no substance here. None of these people are qualified to lead this country in the right direction. I predict that President Barrack Obama will be the greatest president in the history of the country.

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