A lot of strong opinions are swirling around the Republican base, but none of them appear to point a way forward for the fractured party. GOP voters and GOP-leaning independents polled are united in their distrust of—even anger at—the Obama administration and Democrats in Congress. But second in line for their ire are their own leaders—when they can agree on who they are. More mention Sarah Palin as the embodiment of their values than any other figure—but she doesn't top 20%.
Fewer than half think leaders are taking the GOP in the right direction. Just a third say their party is in line with them on “most issues”—and a whopping 40% have no idea who will carry the banner in 2012. Hot-button issues elicit a similarly ambivalent response from the mostly conservative-identifying voters polled by the Washington Post. A third think the Republican Party puts “too little” emphasis on same-sex marriage—while a third think there’s “too much” focus. (Read more Republican Party stories.)