He’s not doing much worse than McConnell or Boehner, sad to say, and since the RNC chair doesn’t have to be out there in the public eye, he can improve the situation by simply lying low for awhile. The real problem: Unlike McConnell and Boehner, his numbers are underwater among Republicans and conservatives too, not just Dems and indies. I don’t know what that’ll mean for fundraising, but it can’t be good.

Frankly, I’m amazed that 43 percent of the public has an opinion about him. Even with Steele’s appearances on Fox News and all the media coverage of the “Voyeur” clusterfark, I figured maybe 10 percent would know who he is. In fact, the “not sure” numbers for him are right in line with those of … the Senate and House minority leaders. Gulp.

The Republican Party may have a big election year anyway, but Americans sure don’t think much of it or its leadership.

Only 28% of voters in the country say they approve of the current direction of the GOP with 51% disapproving. Even among voters who identify with the party just 54% say they like where it’s headed. It’s predictable that Democrats would give it very low marks but even among independents just 18% think the Republicans are headed in the right direction while 49% dissent.

One person who’s not doing the party any favors is Michael Steele. Only 10% of Americans have a favorable opinion of him while 33% see him unfavorably. Even in his own party a plurality of voters have a negative view of him, with 19% saying they have an unfavorable opinion of him to 15% with a positive one.

The party numbers may be poisonous, but they’re not poisoning the generic ballot just yet: Gallup has the GOP up four points today, which would mean unvarnished Democratic catastrophe if it held ’til November. (CNN, interestingly, has the Dems up four after being down four just a few weeks ago. Double gulp.)

But back to Steele. If you thought a black chairman might appeal more to black voters, think again:


Undaunted, he said today that he still plans to attend the annual conference of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network. He can’t be going because he thinks he’ll win any votes there; I assume it’s simply his attempt to encourage civility and “dialogue.” For a taste of Sharpton-style civility, click the image below. If Steele uses his appearance to call out this sort of garbage against Clarence Thomas, he’ll redeem himself 90 percent.