[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."