Steele RNC Scandal: 60% Of Public Hasn't Heard About Nightclub Gaffe

Perhaps the only saving grace for RNC Chairman Michael Steele concerning the committee's nearly $2,000 expenditure at a bondage-themed nightclub is that few voters actually are aware of the incident.

A survey by Pew Research Center reveals that only 40 percent of Americans say they have heard about the RNC's expenditure controversy -- including 24 percent who said they had heard only "a little." Sixty-percent said they had heard nothing at all.

Compare that figure to those Americans who have followed stories about changes to federal student loans. Roughly two out of every three respondents to the Pew survey said they had heard something about the new structure in loan grants to students that the president passed into law. Only 34 percent said they heard nothing at all.

Digging into the numbers a bit more and Steele gets even more good news. Of the 16 percent of respondents who said they had heard a lot about the RNC expenditure scandal, 21 percent said they were Democrats and just ten percent Republicans.

The findings are a reflection of how much the story has been trumpeted by traditionally progressive media and how narrowly it has been disseminated to the general public. The problem, of course, is that the audience with the largest stake in the nightclub blunder seems likely to be the same people closely following the saga. Republican insiders are going to play an influential role in determining Steele's fate at the RNC -- not the larger GOP populace. They undoubtedly have followed the controversy from the beginning. And they don't seem likely to be all that relieved just because fewer people than expected know about it.