Rush wins leadership poll


Gallup and USA Today collaborated on a poll with the goal of finding out who is seen as the current leader of the Republican Party. The No’s had it — the big winner was No Opinion, followed by No One. But after that, Rush defeated all comers. There are very interesting differences in how Republicans see the leadership situation in their own party, and how Democrats see it. The key factoid of the day: Far more Democrats see Limbaugh as the leader than do members of his own party.

Among all respondents, 37% had no opinion and 14% said nobody is leader. There goes over half of the respondent pool. Limbaugh bested Dick Cheney 13% to 10%, with John McCain and Newt Gingrich each getting 6%. 3% went to George W. Bush, and Michael Steele, John Boehner and Mitt Romney each got 1%. 9% was divided up fractionally among others and 1% said everybody was the leader.

Republicans were far less likely to cite Limbaugh. After the No Opinions (29%) and No Ones (17%), it boiled down to a 10% tie between Limbaugh and Gingrich. Cheney pulled 9%, McCain 6%, Steele and Romney 2% each. 14% had someone else in mind and 1% agreed with everyone.

Democrats, after dispensing with 39% and 10% for No Opinion and No One, gave Limbaugh a clear 18% mandate. Cheney, another favorite bashing target, also did well with 12%. McCain and Bush each pulled 5%, Gingrich pulled 4%, Boehner and Steele pulled 1% each. 5% went with other, and 1% also said everyone.

RBR/TVBR observation: Limbaugh has made no bones about the fact that he does not consider himself to be the party’s leader, nor does he want to be. And in all fairness, the Republican leadership vacuum will cure itself in time. But make no mistake, this vacuum is wide open – but it’s a real opportunity for somebody. Biggest surprise: No mention of Sarah Palin.