There is something interesting in the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll. Beyond finding that there is no current GOP favorite for the 2012 nomination, the poll also contained favorability ratings for notable national Republicans at the top of the list were moderates Colin Powell and John McCain. At the bottom were Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele.
Here is the full list courtesy of The Page:
George W. Bush: Favorable: 41% Unfavorable: 57%
Dick Cheney: Favorable: 37% Unfavorable: 55%
John McCain: Favorable: 58% Unfavorable: 37%
Sarah Palin: Favorable: 46% Unfavorable: 43%
Newt Gingrich: Favorable: 36% Unfavorable: 35%
Mitt Romney: Favorable: 42% Unfavorable: 29%
Mike Huckabee: Favorable: 45% Unfavorable: 25%
Rush Limbaugh: Favorable: 30% Unfavorable: 53%
Colin Powell: Favorable: 70% Unfavorable: 18%
Jeb Bush: Favorable: 33% Unfavorable: 40%
Michael Steele: Favorable: 20% Unfavorable: 24%
If the leadership of the GOP had any clue at all, they would learn something from these numbers. The Republicans with the highest favorability ratings are the moderates. It is no surprise that Powell is the most popular Republican. He seems to have been holding this title for almost 20 years now. The surprise is that George W. Bush has done so much damage to the family name that even Jeb Bush is in the 30s.
It is no big shock that the nation is still split over Sarah Palin. This is probably going to be the case for her entire political career. It is a bad omen for the GOP in 2012 than none of their potential top contenders are as popular as the candidate who lost in 2008. Huckabee, Romney, and Palin are bunched together in a big pack of mediocre.
Bush and Cheney are still toxic for the GOP, which is why top Republicans should send Dick Cheney back to his secure and undisclosed location as soon as possible. As bad as Bush and Cheney are, Limbaugh is even more poisonous to the GOP. These approval ratings confirm the notion that as long as the GOP is listening to Cheney and Limbaugh, Democrats have nothing to fear.