October 21st, 2009
10:58 AM ET
13 years ago

Steele 'not really' concerned about declining GOP support

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/16/art.steele0915.gi.jpg caption="Michael Steele said he's not worried that only 20 percent of Americans describe themselves as Republicans."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele on Tuesday brushed off a new poll that indicates just 20 percent of the American public are willing to call themselves Republicans.

Questioned on whether he's concerned about the new Washington Post/ABC News poll, Steele responded: "Not really."

"What I'm concerned about is how they vote," he said on CNN's "The Situation Room." Steele insisted that "at end of the day you can call yourself whatever you want" - as long voters ultimately choose candidates who favor small government, business-friendly policies.

"That's at the end of the day where I'm focused as a party chairman," he continued. "On delivering candidates and delivering a message that empowers people and lisfts them up, not puts the government in front of them as the president and Democrats in congress are doing now."

With Election Day just two weeks away, Steele hedged when asked to make a prediction in the New Jersey and Virginia governor's races. "I love the feel of a win, my friend," he declared, before adding a qualifier: "But I'm the chairman. What do you expect?"

Republicans have a decisive lead in Virginia, but the picture is less clear in New Jersey.

"I feel good about where we are right now with both of these races," he said. "We have a lot of work to do. We're ahead slightly, you know how these things can go. But as a national chairman, I feel good about a win."

Filed under: Michael Steele • Popular Posts • RNC
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Dave G

    # as long voters ultimately choose candidates who favor small government, business-friendly policies.

    Sorry my friend but we're not saps. Under GWB the Republicans abandoned that philosophy and joined the Democrats in the fiscal insanity club. (Remember the GOP $800 billion medicare bill.)

    Today's Republican is 1985's Democrat.

    October 20, 2009 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  2. Liberal4Obama

    Wow only 20% Americans call themselves republicans... no wonder they are in the minority

    October 20, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  3. I am Newt's ex wife

    Oh yeah....the smell of burning GOP crap...........Steele shouldn't be worried ...the wacko right wing has hijacked the party and he is in control of "WHAT???"

    I sure hope that Hannity, Beck, and the Limebaughs of the world continue to spread the "fear" among people.

    These guys are reading right out of the Joe McCarthy playbook days of the 1950's.....scare....fear....hate....misinformation.......sound familiar????

    October 20, 2009 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  4. James Michael Roberson

    I hope the democrats rally and win these elections. We need to move forward in all of our states, and you can't do that with the party of NO.

    October 20, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  5. Jay T.

    Socialists of America need to move on! Stop looking back! If you do that a Republican will never get elected again.

    October 20, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  6. Jay T.

    Steelio is awesome! That guy used to run with the Wu Tang Clan. He also is a man of principal. A Republican who is adamantly opposed to anything the "Obamabots" want is a rare breed today- especially with CNN pandering to all the hippies.

    October 20, 2009 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  7. Randy, San Francisco

    Expect the number of Americans who identify themselves as Republicans to dip down further to 10 to 15 percent after additional purges of those who are not considered to be true conservatives. Looks like the GOP missed the train into the 21st century.

    October 20, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  8. William in San Jose

    Steele (a certified boob) is the gift that keeps on giving for the Democrats! Keep quoting him CNN!

    October 20, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    I don't believe the 20% figure. That's pure bunk pushed constantly by far left bloggers. When the 2010 elections get here, there'll be a huge number of voters that can call themselves grass-rooters or the Party of the Ticked Off, or whatever, but there will be major changes in the make up of the Congress. The Senior Citizens that sat out the last election, will be back in line to vote for their Nation. As will millions of Christians that were offended by Sen McCains refusal of religious endorsement.

    October 20, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. ben

    why do all the repubs act like they are for small business? everyone knows they will lay down their lives for the corporations, not the small guys.

    October 20, 2009 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  11. Peter s

    Whats up ? go home!!

    October 20, 2009 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  12. CM

    This is what is called denial in what really went wrong.

    October 20, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  13. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Of course Steele isn't concerned that only 20% of Americans will admit they are Republicans, he's only concerned about his job that he knows is coming to an end along with his party. It's not popular to be a party of no, hate and ultimately with no solutions. It's not popular to just say I'm a Republican when you can't explain why.

    October 20, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  14. Keith in Austin

    Under King Obama's reign, I serious question any poll that reports the GOP is declining! Unless of course, it was conducted by CNN, NBC or most other liberal media outlets.

    October 20, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  15. Keith in Austin

    Under King Obama's reign, I serious question any poll that reports the GOP is declining! Unless of course, it is conducted by, ABC CNN, NBC or most other liberal media outlets.

    October 20, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  16. richard

    that's always republican says b4 election "we feel good", wait until after then u will hear something else

    October 20, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  17. New Father

    Mr Steele that right there is what is wrong with the republicans. They used to stand for something. The majority threw you out for being out of control spending lying fools. I am a fiscal conservative not like many republicans would have a clue what that is. The best congressman are republicans to bad they all leave office on self emposed term limits. The rest career liberal wanna-bes who talk good and than help vote themselves a raise. What a joke!!

    October 20, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. John

    Michael Steel feels good about a lot. Probably also feels good about where we stand on global warming, health care, and leprechauns handing out gold as a hobby.

    October 20, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  19. Brad

    Dear Michael Steele:

    You should be concerned. All of the ridiculous right wing nonsense...the birthers...Joe Wilson's outburst...the tea baggers...Dick Cheney's attempts to revise history...refusing to cooperate with President Obama in any way...the name calling...the red-baiting...the staged town hall disruptions...have gone for naught. The GOP gained no ground this summer and President Obama's approval ratings are still in the 55% range when you average the polls.

    And now only 20% of voters identify themselves as Republicans and you say that you are not concerned?

    October 20, 2009 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  20. Eddwar

    The only reason the let this guy speak is because someone like President Obama is in the White House. He would be cleaning their houses otherwise. Steele should be a lot more respectful to Our new President Obama and thank him for the job he got at the GOP. Republicans are really getting desperate. They need to start treating every equally and not just for political gain.

    October 20, 2009 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  21. Carnell From Detroit, MI USA

    Poor Republicants! Poor Mr. Uncle Tom Michael Steel! Poor HyporiCNN! My Only Concern Is Really Can This Pathetic Soap Opera Of News Get Any Sadder?

    October 20, 2009 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  22. Randi L.

    What??? The chair of the Republican Party isn't concerned whether people are Republicans!!?? Either he's a dishonest man or an indifferent man. Can the Republican Party afford such a person as chair?

    October 20, 2009 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  23. Preston kathy

    Kathy and preston steele is a puppet for the gop when i heard the gop was haveing a black man to run the party i was happy i thought a black man would bring the party some respect but he got mean as long aS rusS is in charge the party will be a mean machine not lean

    October 21, 2009 12:26 am at 12:26 am |
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