The leader of the party

THE LEADER OF THE PARTY…. Last week, in response to an awkwardly-worded Rasmussen poll about Rush Limbaugh, I argued it would be more interesting to ask self-identified Republicans who they consider to be the leader of their party. My sort-of prediction, “I suspect Sarah Palin would have done fairly well, and perhaps Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and Bobby Jindal would have been up there. But I also imagine that Limbaugh would have been very much in the running.”

As it turns out, Rasmussen just released a similar poll, along those lines. How’d I do? Well, it was a mixed bag.

Respondents were asked, “Is the leader of the Republican Party Michael Steele, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, someone else or is there no clear leader?” This makes my prediction a little iffy, since Gingrich, Romney, and Jindal weren’t included. Here’s the breakdown:

68% No clear leader
17% Not sure
5% John McCain
5% Michael Steele
2% Rush Limbaugh
1% Sarah Palin
completely unfounded.

Post Script: By the way, when the question was posed to Democrats, the wording read as follows: “Is the leader of the Democratic Party Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, Joe Biden, George Soros, Jon Stewart, someone else or is there no clear leader?”

C’mon, Rasmussen. George Soros? Really?

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.