The main factor uniting Republican-leaning voters today is fierce opposition to President Obama and Congressional Democrats -- but less than half believe their own party is moving in the "right direction," a new Washington Post survey finds.
Roughly three in four of the conservatives polled said Obama doesn't stand for "traditional American values," and nearly half said they're "angry" about his policies. Almost none were satisfied.
At the same time, roughly four out of 10 GOP voters hold a negative view of Republicans in Congress, complaining that they're disengaged from values and personal problems of regular Americans. Nearly a third say Republicans are not living up to their core ideals.
While pundits predict Republican gains in the approaching 2010 midterm elections, the Post survey revealed a deep fissure among the GOP constituency as to who the party's leader is -- almost three in ten had no answer to that question.
Ranked highest was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, fresh off a recent media blitz promoting her new memoir "Going Rogue," but even she garnered less than 20 percent support among conservatives polled.
This may bode ill for the GOP as fewer than 30 percent of mainstream American voters think she's qualified to be president, a recent CNN poll found.
A meager one percent of those polled said former President George W. Bush best embodied the party's core values; 70 percent blame him in part for the GOP's current problems.
Reflecting this schism is the recent NY-23 Congressional race, where internal disputes led to prominent Republicans endorsing a third-party candidate over the GOP nominee, ultimately leading to a Democratic victory in a solidly Republican district.
Among the matters of contention among prominent GOP insiders is how much emphasis to put on major issues like health care and financial reform as opposed to hot-button social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion.