Poll: Who leads the Republican Party?

According to Rasmussen, most Republicans answer with a shrug. Over two-thirds of Republicans say “no one”, while only two percent agree with the Operation Rushbo attack operation out of the White House:

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Republican voters say their party has no clear leader, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Another 17% are undecided.

Just five percent (5%) view either John McCain, the GOP’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential candidate, or new party chairman Michael Steele as the party’s leader.

Two percent (2%) see conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh in that role, and one percent (1%) name McCain’s running mate, Alaska Govenror Sarah Palin. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner are each seen as GOP leader by less than one-half of one percent.

Democrats don’t have any trouble identifying their party leader — two-thirds say Barack Obama, and no one else gets 5%. That’s traditional for parties that have the White House. The president is always at least the symbolic leader of the party. I’m actually curious as to why Obama only got 66%. Jon Stewart actually scores 1%.

So far, Operation Rushbo looks like a failure, even among Democrats. Only 7% of Democrats think of Rush as the party leader. Eighty-six percent perceive no national leader in the opposing party at all. Maybe the media is among the 7%.

All this shows thefallacy Rahm Emanuel has tried to employ in Operation Rushbo. Rush is a conservative commentator, not a Republican activist. He scorns Republicans as well as Democrats who do not hew to the conservative model. Maybe if the White House tried painting him as a conservative leader, they would get more traction as well as displaying some intellectual honesty — but that doesn’t win elections or make for successful smear campaigns, I guess.

Who would Hot Air readers say is the Republican Party leader? Take our poll to make your voice heard. I’ll talk about the results on tomorrow’s TEMS show with Mary Katharine Ham.