April 19, 2007

Giuliani Slips In Latest Polling

The latest Washington Post/ABC News poll shows that Rudy Giuliani has started coming back to the pack after a surprisingly successful first quarter. John McCain has managed to hold his ground, and Fred Thompson appears to be the beneficiary of Rudy's retreat. Meanwhile, Hillary has widened the gap between herself and #2 Barack Obama, but because Obama lost a little ground since the previous poll in February.

First, the Republicans:

Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's lead over his Republican presidential rivals has narrowed considerably, while Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) has maintained her advantage in the race for the Democratic nomination, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), whose candidacy has been buffeted by lackluster fundraising and his embrace of President Bush's troop surge policy in Iraq, runs a solid second among GOP hopefuls. But there is fresh evidence in the new survey that his focus on the war and on attracting conservative support have made him more polarizing as a potential general-election candidate.

Giuliani remained the front-runner in the national poll, but his support has eroded. In a late-February Post-ABC News poll, 44 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents preferred Giuliani for the nomination; that figure is down to 33 percent. Support for McCain held steady at 21 percent.

In fact, Fred Thompson picked up nine of those points, it appears. Thompson had not been included in the polling until now, and the drop in Rudy's numbers might reflect the popularity of Thompson among conservatives looking for an electable alternative to the Mayor. He could just as easily have taken it from Newt Gingrich, though, who lost nine points from February and turned in his worst performance in the WaPo/ABC presidential poll so far, dropping down to 6%. Without Newt, though, Rudy still loses nine points in this poll and Fred gets 10%; without Fred, Rudy gets 37%. It appears most likely that Fred draws from Rudy's support.

Mitt Romney rebounded to tie Thompson, picking up five points in the last two month. Tommy Thompson remains at 2%, still with the rest of the field in being unable to beat No Opinion. No one looks ready to make a move on the frontrunners. After his remarks to the Reform Judaism center this week, Tommy probably will not be the one to break out soon.

Rumor has it that Fred Thompson will announce perhaps as soon as next month, likely starting with an exploratory committee to build some strength in the polls. He's tied for third without even breaking a sweat, and his potential entry has already shaken up the field. It's difficult to see why he wouldn't jump into the race.

For the Democrats, the big news is that Al Gore moved ahead of John Edwards for the third spot, with an impressive 17%. Hillary still has her 37%, while Obama lost four points to 20%, much closer to third than he would like at this point. It looks like Edwards and Gore benefited from Obama's retreat. Bill Richardson has quietly started to work his way out of the noise, and Joe Biden ties No Opinion, but otherwise nothing significant is happening on the lower tiers. If Gore is removed from the choices, all of the top-tier candidates benefit, including Hillary.

No Opinion, by the way, is only 2% for the Democrats, as opposed to 6% for the Republicans.

In the general election, the negatives appear pretty significant for Hillary, McCain, and Romney. Hillary has 45% of the electorate that will not even consider voting for her, a very large hurdle to overcome. Obama and Edwards have 36% and 35%, respectively. McCain fares even worse, and surprisingly so for a perceived "maverick" who could attract centrists; 47% give McCain the emphatic thumbs-down. For McCain, that's almost double from what he had in May 2006.

But the biggest surprise on negatives has to be Mitt Romney, who one would assume hasn't got the name recognition to generate high negatives. Yet the poll shows that 54% responded that they would definitely not vote for Mitt in the general election. That bodes very ill for the GOP's best fundraising campaign thus far, and one has to wonder whether the Mormon religion plays a part in that result. Nothing he has done so far would create that kind of sharp opposition.


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Comments (11)

Posted by james23 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 8:09 AM

Romney's main problem may be that just about all anyone knows about him is that he is Mormom (athough some may also know he is from Mass., which won't help with Republicans). And part of that may be a result of his own strategy, which seemingly has been to get the Mormon issue out there and deal with it up front. Perhaps he should have picked up one or two substantive issues, made them his, and plan to deal with the Mormom thing later.

Posted by TomTom [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 8:33 AM

Wish the polled would be as concerned about Islam as the Church of LDS. Thanks again, O Media.

Posted by DaveR [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 8:58 AM

Last sentence of poll article indicates the poll included an oversample of 18% African-American voters.

Wouldn't it be a lot simpler and cheaper for ABC / WAPO to just have the DNC send over the desired poll results and the correct interpretation wording, rather than run the risk of not getting the message out exactly right?

Posted by eretzgo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 9:04 AM

While some of my best friends would be Mormons if I knew any, I think it fair to point out that one of the precepts of Mormonism is that Christianity is an abomination. You can't expect Christians, or even friends of Christians (like my Jewish self) to take kindly to such a creed.

In other words, the prejudice seems to start from Mormonism, and Romney's unpopularity is most accurately seen as a defensive response to this attack. If Mormons made peace with Christians, I think Christians and their friends would return the favor.

Posted by Doc Neaves [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 9:14 AM

T 'n T - Thompson/Tancredo '08.

Posted by Kent [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 9:38 AM

I think it fair to point out that one of the precepts of Mormonism is that Christianity is an abomination.

Since Mormons consider themselves Christians, this statement is a gross distortion at best.

Posted by skydaddy [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 10:10 AM

Eretzgo, that's sort of like saying that, "one of the tenets of Messianic Jews is that Judaism is an abomination." It's not only factually incorrect, it displays a deep lack of understanding about either religion.

Mormons consider themselves Christians who have "the whole story" just as Messianists consider themselves "completed Jews."

Most Christians disagree with the Mormon position, some vehemently. Most Jews disagree with the Messianist position, again, some vehemently.

I think Romney's strategy has been good - get the issue out there early and kill it. He's got the money to weather early polling.

Here's my tongue-in-cheek take on the whole Mormon President issue: http://youtube.com/watch?v=YluZvy8JGP4

Posted by wtanksleyjr [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 10:21 AM

"Since Mormons consider themselves Christians, this statement is a gross distortion at best."

Actually, it's a quote from Smith himself, in the Pearl of Great Price. See "Joseph Smith-History 1:19". Yes, Mormons consider themselves Christians; but they do so by claiming that the creeds of all other congregations are not merely not Christian, but abominations.

So it's not a distortion; at worst it's a misunderstanding, but I don't see how that's possible. The quote is very specific that the creeds are condemned, and the creeds of the major denominations have not changed up to this date.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 3:50 PM

Guiliani slips now? Many months away from the gate?

Your putting importance in these polls? Why?

One of the strongest developers for a candidate to become MORE popular; is to run into resistance.

How so? Ronald Reagan was NOT popular, inside the GOP tent, in 1976. If you think he was, go ahead and believe in fairy tales.

One of the things that made Reagan MORE popular, though, was the sense that individuals got, that party politics, stinking as much as it does; he'd be ignored.

Back in those days, by the way, "social conservative" meant John Bircher. In other words? Rich men, WITH BALLS.

So in 1980, when Reagan seemed to be overcoming the negative reviews he was getting from all types of media; he was asked a question by a reporter (as dumb as David Gregory.)

The question was "now that the conservatives are supporting you, did they sell you their message?

Ah, no. Reagan, who had no trouble answering reporters, like the dummy, today, in the Oval Office seems to be terribly afflicted; responded:

"I welcome the John Birchers. I welcome all voters. Because it means they've BOUGHT MY AGENDA. Not the reverse."

Must have stymied the press. Reagan won "in spite of his age." As they say.

Guiliani? There's no bad news out there. By making it seems he's getting less popular, you only increase the desire of people who want to see him run, of GAINING STATURE.

Go back a year. Back then? Rudy didn't have his machine up and running. He didn't look like much of a condendah.

Now? Oh, boy. The machinery is nearly perfect.

Lincoln, if you studied history, would be a fine example of how you can win the NATIONAL VOTES, even when your own party is lame-headed.

How is this done? Tag: DESPERATION.

By not picking someone who can win MOST OF THE VOTERS' votes in most of the nation; you're just gonna be backing a loser.

If you don't think this doesn't frighten lots of GOP voters; think, again.

Falling by the wayside? The special interest group, whose done damage, before.

Why are we gonna see change? Well, I'm gonna take a guess. WINNING is more important, that being "right." If by forcing religious views means you're gonna be left at the alter.

Not all alters are for weddings, anymore.

Just like the old days. Alters were the places where priests made sacrifices. Why did they do that? It was supposed to guarantee that the year ahead wouldn't contain calamities.

Inside the GOP tent are men, now, who have the power to "select" a nominee. It's not us. It's the big money guys. Who once bet on the Bush's. To see what could have been greatness, get reduced down to the shrubbery business.

Really. In business when you lose the ability to have volume sales, your losses bring about the changes necessary. To improve business. Or get out of the business, altogether.

What you need to check?

How popular, really, is the stuff you want to sell?

Among other things? I don't think you can sell the general public that we can attack iran, before they do any attacking of us.

Sort'a built into the contract. The contract? That's our Constitution. Something, the left would love to toss. Why "halp" them out?

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 10:42 PM

They haven't floated a Liberal Democrat YET that would make me think a Liberal GOP is BETTER.

Liberals is Liberals, I don't care WHAT label you put on them.

SAME DIFFERENCE. I've said it before - there is Dah Ahnold Man to prove it.

Mitt says what he thinks his audience wants to hear, so does Giuliani - like a gigillo! McCain - who knows WHAT that birdbrain is thinking.
"Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Bomb Iran!"
What a big maroon. I thought he was the equivalent of Hanoi John - he's the equivalent of Howard Dean! He's really the equivalent of Hanoi John AND Howard Dean AND Hillary!

Good Grief, Charlie Brown.

And the GOP begging the Conservatives TO STAY HOME! DON'T VOTE!

They think they found a Conservative because they found A FRIEND OF JOHN McCAIN'S???


Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 19, 2007 10:52 PM

Posted by: eretzgo


They don't wanna know - they aren't through beating themselves up, yet, over not being inclusive enough, not being PC enough to out-PC the PC police.

It's enough for me he is a Liberal GOP member and I'm a Southerner who is tired of Liberals, and the GOP label doesn't cover Massachusetts Liberals, for many of us Southerners who don't need anything to remind us of Southern Democrats, thank you.

They tell us we're obligated to believe he matured and grew from the days he condemned Reagan - AFTER he threw his hat in the ring - NOT because he's just telling us what he THINKS we want to hear, of course...

I don't feel a bit obligated to someone who survives politics in Kennedy's shadow, and they claim it is "because he is so very tough".