June 3, 2007

Giuliani Lead Steady But Softer

A new ABC/Washington Post poll shows Rudy Giuliani maintaining a strong lead over most of the Republican challengers for the presidential nomination. However, the underlying internals of the poll show that his popularity has softened, which leaves room for Rudy's opponents to make inroads on his lead:

A softening of underlying confidence in Rudolph W. Giuliani, including some damage on the abortion issue, could hearten his current -- and future -- opponents for the Republican presidential nomination.

Giuliani's hardly in trouble; he maintains large leads over his opponents on key personal attributes including leadership and electability. But he's lost ground on empathy, honesty and inspiration; his support is not strong -- and a third of Republicans now flatly rule him out because of his position on abortion, up from just under a quarter earlier this year.

Giuliani remains the Republican frontrunner, with overall candidate preferences stable compared with an ABC News/Washington Post poll in mid-April. But just 36 percent of his supporters are "strongly" for him, and his backing is notably lower among conservatives -- a core Republican group -- than among moderates. Indeed, it's moderate Republicans (and the party's relatively few liberals) who propel Giuliani to a clear lead.

It's not quite as dire as this report suggests. Twenty-seven percent of self-described conservatives in the party support Rudy. However, half of all Republicans tell ABC that Rudy;s position on abortion makes them less likely to support him; 33% say it means that he has "no chance" of winning their support.

Also, in the intervening time between the last poll in February, Giuliani has made a couple of big stumbles on abortion. Yet the polling shows less damage than one might suspect. Those who say that Rudy's position on abortion and gay unions would make them less likely to support him only went up 4 points, from 46 to 50. Those saying it made no difference remained exactly the same, at 43%. In fact, a majority of Republicans still consider Giuliani as giving the GOP the best chance to win the general election, 53-22, over McCain.

What has made Rudy the front-runner so far? According to the internals, Rudy projects the best image of leadership. He scores a majority in several categories in this area, including:

Best Able to Handle a Crisis: 59% (McCain - 23%, Romney - 8%)
Strongest Leader: 55% (26% - 10%)
Most Inspiring: 53% (22% - 13%)
Best Chance to Win: 53% (22% - 9%)

Giuliani has fallen on some of these metrics. He had a majority on Best Able to Understand Your Problems, but lost 11% to fall to 40% - still ahead but vulnerable. He lost eight points on Strongest Leader and 12 points on Most Inspiring. McCain has almost caught him on Most Honest after Rudy lost 7 points on that trait, but McCain lost 12 points on best chance to win. Republicans who supported McCain for his ability to cross the aisle have started to disappear, probably because of the latest example on immigration.

The poll has a couple of problems. For one, it includes an oversample of African-Americans, which means that the Republican sample will be necessarily smaller. That's reflected in the 5-point margin of error for the GOP results, a little high for these political polls. It also samples adults rather than likely primary voters, which would tend to favor centrist candidates.

If the internals show Rudy's national lead softening, it still shows Rudy with the same gap over the rest of the field. Other candidates may have an opening to make their case, but so far, no one on Rudy's bandwagon as jumped off as yet.


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Comments (17)

Posted by Doc | June 3, 2007 7:35 PM

My thoughts on this. If Rudy gets the nod, and runs against Hillary, there is no way in hell that the 33% are going to sit on thier hands. Hillary is the greatest campaign add that the republicans can have.

McCain is toast over the immigration bill. If there is anything that is going to sink the party, it is that.

Posted by Angry Dumbo | June 3, 2007 8:06 PM

Rudy lost me at Hello.

I jumped off the Rudy bandwagon after the very first debate held at the Reagan library (or hangar). Rudy lost me to Mitt because Rudy, in the spotlight of the debate, he came off as Snydley Whiplash to Mitt's Dudley Do Right. Rudy was playing conservative (how many times can you hear "we gotta stay on offense" . . . please), his pandering is flattering to many, but not me.

Mitt has all the warmth of a CEO or the guy in high school everyone envied, but nobody liked, still Mitt spoke to the camera and respectfully answered even the oddball questions fired off in shotgun fashion by the hostile MSNBC and Politico moderators.

Assuming Hillary is the likely Democrat nominee, I like Mitt even more because his squeaky clean family life is bound to give fits to the supercharged Soros funded Clinton machine. Go Mitt.

Posted by stackja1945 [TypeKey Profile Page] | June 3, 2007 8:09 PM

RG "position on abortion and gay unions" versus RG 9/11. MR has moral vote. McC does not rate.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | June 3, 2007 8:46 PM

1 question-why would they oversample African-Americans in the poll?

Now, here's some entertainment from the just-concluded Demmy debate

June 3, 2007
Columnist/author arrested in spin room

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN ) – Columnist and author Eric Alterman was arrested Sunday night inside the debate spin room and charged with criminal trespass after police say he refused repeated orders to leave.

Goffstown, N.H. police say Alterman was in the spin room as a guest of the Creative Coalition and went to an area reserved for a private reception for WMUR-TV. Police say he was asked by an executive at the party if he was invited to the private area and was asked to leave. A police officer was called after a verbal altercation ensued. He was asked by police seven times to leave, and police say he became increasingly loud as he refused. After ignoring a final request, police say he was handcuffed and taken from the building. He is charged with criminal trespass, and a bail commissioner will determine if he will be released.

Alterman writes a column for “The Nation” and writes the “Altercation” blog for Media Matters. He also has authored several books, including “Why Presidents Lie.”

– CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk

Posted by Del Dolemonte | June 3, 2007 8:55 PM

Too funny-CNN has already censored their own blog entry about Alterman's arrest


Posted by Mr Michael | June 3, 2007 8:59 PM

Not really a useful poll at this point... We're running up to the PRIMARIES, here... the voters in the Republican Primary do not reflect the General Population.

They vote much more often.
They donate money to the campaigns NOW.
They are much more intimately familiar with the issues.
They are much more intimately familiar with the Candidate's stands on those issues
They are predominantly partisan by definition; they are NOT liberal Republicans on average
And saddest of all, they are underrepresented by Blacks... although locally we have every other ethnicity active in the Caucuseses. es. Cauci?!? Whatever.

I'd really like to see a poll of people who managed to vote in a previous Primary ONLY. New Blood votes a tad different, so maybe those who PLAN on voting in these Primaries. But a Poll of the General Population at this point... C'mon...

Posted by Carol Herman | June 3, 2007 9:00 PM

In 1980, the "conservatives" were the John Bircher's. Californians really loaded for bear. And, very strange right wing ideas. Not exactly the stuff befitting a major party.

Anyway, once it became apparent that Ronald Reagan was locking up votes; the journalists turned to question him about the John Bircher's. Since, obviously, Reagan was a hit! And, Reagan replied, "no, he didn't change his philosophy, but the John Bircher's were "modering their's." And, adopting the things Reagan was saying.

I think this is a classic reply.

As to "front runners," did you know the donks had a debate tonight? You watched? So few did, that where Charles Johnson is running a poll, with the "typical" who won it, cirteria; I felt bad he didn't include a group for NOPE. DIDN'T WATCH. And, even another "DON'T EVEN CARE."


Little Green Footballs said that up in New Hampshire, Alterman didn't leave a "private room" ... of all things called "SPIN." So, he's been arrested.

Even the dullest campaigns seem to have their moments. Getting arrested while attending a debate contest. Heck, he didn't even disrobe! He just got "arrested" for being there.

A "ma-kaka moment."

It's gonna be a long campaign.

Glad Fred's phoning his in. It sure beats going out there, and making politics look like a cattle show.

Ya know what else I've noticed? With Bush in the basement, he's turned the basement into the quietest room in the White House.

\By the way, up at Drudge it seems Katie Couric has plunged so far down, there's no recovery plan in site.


As things get worse and worse for the media, why think the debates they cover are even relevant?

Ah. And, from History! Abe Lincoln knew if he went out and campaigned he'd fall into one trap after another. In 1860, ONLY Douglas campaigned! And, down south? He was heckled. So, as difficult as travel was in 1860, Lincoln did better JUST STAYING HOME. And, letting his reputation that he had worked on, prior, give people insights into what kind of a president he'd make. And, gosh darn it, if he didn't turn out being our best! Our 16th President.

I think what would be more exciting to know? As GUiliani grapples with Fred's entrance; and he KNOWS it's KICKING UP EXCITEMENT ... which is a good thing ... How does he deal with Fred's positions, so far trumping all the bullshit.

And, the yada. Yada. Yada.

This is gonna be the Internet's chances to shine.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | June 3, 2007 9:15 PM

CNN now has the blog story about Alterman back up. Good for them!

Posted by Rovin | June 3, 2007 9:18 PM

"Republicans who supported McCain for his ability to cross the aisle have started to disappear, probably because of the latest example on immigration."

Warning: Crossing the aisle can be hazardous to your health.

While the GOP continues to splinter over the immigration issue, (which will be McCain's epitaph), how do we define a front-runner when you have Fred Thompson setting out there in the wings? Yes, Rudy's my choice if I have no other come the general election. But the full force of a Thompson "surge" would suit me fine.

Posted by Carol Herman | June 3, 2007 9:32 PM

Okay. Mr. Michael is RIGHT! What's being fought NOW, is for the PRIMARY VOTERS. And, while in some states you can "cross-over" and pick to vote for the republicans; the mainstay of the party, here, is going to come from those 35% or so who "belong" to the party. And, have registered as such.

Still, I remember when Grey Davis' gubenatorial career was cut short. A very conservative guy spent the $3-million needed to make the ballot measure "hold."

I remember watching TV that election day. And, one of the networks went with a man, for republicans, who said he "really" wanted the conservative guy. BUT HE ALSO WANTED TO WIN. So, he voted for Schwartzenegger.

The other thing I remember? Like lots of other people. In 1992 BOTH parties had put up choices that were less than what the People wanted. Bush #41 was shown the door. But Bill CLinton? He had to "share" his victory with the 19% that went to Ross Perot.

Will there be others on the 2008 ballot? OF course! Heck, Harold Stasson was a "ruglar" during the presidential runs. What was he, in 8 of them?

But the ability for a 3rd party candidate to actually win? How will that change the odds?

While, for Congress, the donks have the 2008 advantage. Only 12 of their senators are running for re-election. While 24 senators from the GOP side need to run. Including Lamar Alexander. GOP Kiester. Who managed to crap out on his first face-to-face outting in Tennessee; this weekend.

Oh, and Lamar Alexander felt the 3rd rail on his "hasn't made up his mind, yet," about the Ted Kennedy amnesty deal.

It may not even be Irak that the contendahs have to fear. But the lack of trust people feel towards all politicians. You can't just dissolve those kinds of distrust.

While the way people get their news has changed dramatically.

Posted by Rose | June 4, 2007 12:31 AM

Rudi doesn't have a chance for the nod - I live in the middle of deep Conservative country - the only person I know who is even considering Rudi won't actually do it when it comes down to it, due to his multiple adulteries. That doesn't tend to make women feel safe - so if his "deal" is our security...

He already blew it.

Meanwhile, his great overwhelming bedazzlement at his own mirror just isn't impressing anyone else!

Posted by Rose | June 4, 2007 12:43 AM

I cannot get over the physical sight of Giuliani being so ready to encourage New York City to find a way to set aside the election of Bloomburg in '02, in order to appoint him back to his position.
Because their tearful goodbyes to him, emotional over 9/11, flattered him so much.

In America.

No way I'll vote for him.

If I were in RNC leadership, I'd take him aside, and tell him, if you TRY to run, I'll find the tapes of that "award ceremony" in wh ich you stuck your foot, arm and both legs in your mouth, and see they get some more air time.
So, be a good boy and retire, gracefully, and we'll make sure it pays you well, in speaking engagements, etc.

Posted by Rose | June 4, 2007 1:03 AM

If there is anything that is going to sink the party, it is that.

Posted by: Doc at June 3, 2007 7:35 PM

What is going to sink the GOP is the Moderates thinking that we'll vote for a RINO if the alternative is a Democrat - why, we certainly cannot figure - and they will find out AGAIN how wrong they are. NOT FOR THE FIRST TIME.

It'll be a delight, at this point, to let them have what they are asking for.

Apparently, getting between these Moderates and their RINO candidates they have decided "are the only ones who are "ELECTABLE" " would seem to be like getting between a she-bear and her lost cubs!

I have no intentions - they can have their stupid RINOS and welcome to them.
And all the consequences, to boot - just like Dah Ahnold Man!

Most won't even go to the polls for this circus - but I'm going to try to get as many as I can to go vote for write-ins - so you Moderates who help count ballots will lose a few moments sleep having to log the write-ins in the totals.

And the GOP can remember Gerald Ford and Robert Dole!

Posted by Jim | June 4, 2007 7:02 AM

The RINOs/moderates are going to get angrier and more vitriolic and spiteful to what was once a solid but is now completely fractured conservative 'base,' as we get closer and closer to the elections. (This will be a nicely carved out allowable exception to Ed and Co's pleas for "civility."). They are so convinced that we are ALL going to cave in, yet again, and succomb to the fear mongering and threats........and hold our noses YET again, and pull the lever for a Mel "Shamnesty" Martinez, or a RINO like Rudy, etc.; my goodness are we going to see the RAGE when they perceive they are failing at brow-beating ALL of us in to submission again...

Post 2006, loss of the majority: "THIS is what happens!! Are ya HAPPY now??"

Answer: Neither happy, nor unhappy. Whatever. The Republicans had the white house and the majority in both house.....a ONCE IN A LIFETIME (literally) opportunity to: a) control the growth of the federal govt.; b) make tax cuts permanant; c) do something about the soon to be insolvent social security situation; d) reduce pork; e) get rid of NPR, NEA, and pass a "flat" or "fair" tax and eliminate 90% of the IRS; f) aggressively move towards energy independence with getting drilling in ANWR and the Gulf (Query: why can a Cuba/Chinese consortium drill 100 miles off the coast of my state, but American oil companies can not?), build new refineries, get permits out for a dozen nuclear power plants, etc.......what am I missing? Oh yeah.....SECURE our border and proudly stand up and up for our national sovereignty, (like EVERY other g--damn nation is allowed to do - except us.)....BEFORE opening up discussions on how to humanly and realistically deal with and accomodate the issues related to the 12 million illegals....

But no.......it was all really a big joke. Democrats Lite. "Crossing the Aisle" to "cooperate" and "work together" with the secular socialists. Well now the joke is on you. Enjoy not having the white house - you don't deserve it anyway; enjoy being the minority - you were a useless disappointment as a majority anyway.

"Are you really going to sit back and let HILLARY get elected?" Gasp!!

Answer: So be it. Sorry, RINO/Moderates. That threat may work with MOST of us, but it isn't working with ALL of us, anymore. And the margin for victory is so slim, the nail may be in your coffin, as a result. You....blew it. I'm not going to be pandered to, and lied to, and threatened by you, any more; with the big bad bogieman of the prospects of a democrat president. Regardless of the consequences.......I am no longer a sucker; no longer a whore.

Posted by howard lohmuller | June 4, 2007 7:35 AM

Rudy has something else that is not being talked about. He has the attention of all those folks who live in extended families, same sex families and single parent families who hear references to traditional two parent families and feel they are being excluded or are in some way inferior or wrong. The votes of irregular family members, particlarly single women, could decide the next election. If Iraq turns out right, Rudy could win in a landslide.

Posted by Lisa | June 4, 2007 11:11 AM

Single women are going to vote for a man that cheats on his wife and tells her he's leaving her during a press conference???

A lot of those single women just might be single because they kicked their cheating husband to the curb.

Also, he doesn't even acknowledge his children on his website. It's as if they don't exist.

So he may get support from people with really disfunctional families but other than that.... not so appealing.

Posted by moepop | June 4, 2007 11:58 AM

Jim is right on the money. Instead of doing any of the things he mentioned they did nothing. Cowards. Oh, there was the brilliant move of outlawing internet poker playing. That made them a lot of freinds. I've voted straight ticket Republican for 30 years. No longer. I'm in MN, if Norm Coleman votes for the amnesty bill (he already voted against drilling in ANWAR) I'll vote for that weasel Al Franken just to spite him.