Timely new findings reveal the majority of Republican voters want their party to get moving - but move to the right. And they’re not quite sure who’s really in charge of things.
A Pew Research Center survey finds that 67 percent of those GOPers say the party must address “major problems” while 54 percent of Republicans want party leaders “to move further to the right.” Among tea partyers, the number is 69 percent.
“Tea Party Republicans” influence the sway of opinion because of their high level of political engagement, the researchers say. Though they make up just 37 percent of the party, they are faithful voters, and now make up about half of the Republican primary electorate.
But who heads up the party? Fifty-six percent of the respondents said that either “no one is in charge” or they just didn’t know. Another 19 percent simply replied “other.” The rest of the response was tepid at best.
House Speaker John Boehner captured the favor of 10 percent, followed by Sen. Marco Rubio with 5 percent and Sens. Rand Paul and John McCain, plus Rep. Paul Ryan - each garnering 3 percent in the open-ended question.
One familiar face from the 2012 presidential race draws the most affection at the moment, however.
65 percent of Republican voters overall give a favorable rating to Paul Ryan of Wisconsin; 81 percent of “Tea Party Republicans” agree.
55 percent of Republican voters give a favorable rating to Rand Paul of Kentucky; 70 percent of tea partyers agree.
50 percent of Republican voters give a favorable rating to Marco Rubio of Florida; 59 percent of tea partyers agree.
47 percent of Republican voters give a favorable rating to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; 47 percent of tea partyers agree.
44 percent of Republican voters give a favorable rating to John A. Boehner; 52 percent of tea partyers agree.
33 percent of Republican voters give a favorable rating to Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas; 48 percent of tea partyers agree.
Source: A Pew Research Center survey of 497 registered Republican voters conducted July 17-21 and released Wednesday.