By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
A majority of Americans and a huge plurality of Republicans drew a blank when Gallup asked them who speaks for the GOP today. The best news for the Grand Old Party out of this poll is that the sound of crickets is a better answer than the two names that most often came to respondents' lips: Dick Cheney and Rush Limbaugh.
Here's the breakdown from Gallup:
The best news in here is for Newt Gingrich and for the Democratic Party. Gingrich is pondering a presidential run, so the fact that so many (relatively) Republicans see him as their spokesman gives him an edge looking to 2012, certainly over Mitt Romney (2 percent) and the rest of the field (none of whom apparently managed to crack 0.5 percent). I would love to see where Newt's approval ratings are these days.
The good news for Democrats is that a plurality of Americans thinks Rush Limbaugh speaks for the Republican Party, followed by Dick Cheney. As has been noted elsewhere, there is a critical split in the GOP right now between those whose job is making (or trying to affect) public policy, as well as getting re-elected, and those whose job is boosting ratings or readership and making money. To the extent that out-of-the-mainstream bomb-throwers like Rush Limbaugh are the face of the GOP, Democrats will have an easier time of it.
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