Agree or disagree with his policies, it’s clear that the primary occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the leader of the Democrat party. But what about the Republicans? There is no face of the GOP — at least in the eyes of the American people.
Sounds like a problem for the GOPers. Or is it? Maybe a new torchbearer will emerge. Here’s the current status, as reflected in a couple of different surveys.
Sixty percent of respondents either didn’t know or declined to answer who they thought was a leader of the Republican Party. Further, 15 percent offered "nobody" as a response.
A separate survey suggests this might be a problem for the men who lead each chamber’s GOP caucus, House Minority Leader Boehner and Senate Minority Leader McConnell, at least if they want to continue to lead.
Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning outfit, released a survey of GOP primary voters in which roughly one-third of respondents said both men should be replaced if Republicans gain control in November.
In the first poll, Boehner clocked in at 4 percent — within the poll’s error margin — as the leader of the party, behind former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., both of whom got 5 percent.
McConnell was a few lengths back, at 1 percent, behind former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., who got 2 percent, and tied with radio host Rush Limbaugh, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, TV host Glenn Beck and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
The numbers underscore the disconnect between the grassroots and the party hierarchy in an election year where the bottom-up momentum is coming from a movement almost as disillusioned by their own party as their Democratic opponents.
Republicans contend that having no leader associated with their party is not unusual when a party does not control the White House. But the question of who leads the Republican Party will take on a new urgency if they gain control of either chamber next year and have to shift motives from opposing President Obama’s agenda to moving one of their own.