JOHN McCAIN: FRONTRUNNER, BECAUSE . . .?
Please tell me again, O Vaunted Conventional Wisdom! Please enlighten me anew, O Revered Beltway Punditocracy. In the race for the GOP’s 2008 Presidential Nomination: John McCain is the “Frontrunner” because . . . ? Mitt Romney is the “3rd of the Big 3”, or indeed even a “serious candidate”, because . . . ?
In addition to the eight separate polls by American Research Group (ARG), in eight significant Primary States – polls showing Rudy with solid leads in seven of the eight – that I commented on the day before yesterday, there have been no less than five other recent polls of significant note. Below are the numbers, followed by even more significant commentary from an arch-denizen of the MSM, and purveyor of the “Conventional Wisdom”. Chris Cillizza, one of the WaPo’s own Political Columnist/Analysts.
Mr. Cillizza’s commentary is significant, not merely because of his position in the “camp of the enemy”, but particularly for what he says. He parses the WaPo/ABC News poll and shows the internal numbers or “cross tabs”. This is significant for at least two reasons:
(1) This is the closest I have seen a card-carrying member of the Beltway Punditocracy come to admitting that Rudy should be regarded at this moment as the Frontrunner “on the ground”, and
(2) The internal numbers show Rudy with significant and solid leads over John McCain among Women, among Married Women (even bigger lead), among Moderate Republicans (somewhat surprising), and (mirabile dictu), among self-identified Conservatives.
Now I grant you, it is clear from the tone of Cillizza’s commentary, that he still considers McCain to be the Frontrunner, and he assumes that Rudy’s numbers are inflated by his 9/11 performance, and that those numbers will fall as Rudy’s “negatives” become known. After all, Cillizza is an MSM sheep, so why shouldn’t he bleat like one? Nevertheless, his parsing of the numbers is worth reading.
Even if the following numbers give you a MEGO effect, please scan them quickly and read the following commentary. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
My ultimate conclusion: Run Rudy Run!
January 25, 2007
Poll Alert: Quinnipiac Shows Rudy New Jersey
Quinnipiac has come out with a presidential primary poll of New Jersey voters. Rudy Giuliani holds a wide lead, among Registered Republicians for the GOP Nomination:
[NB: The three numbers represent “total”, “men”, and “women”.]
Giuliani 39% 35% 43%
McCain 21% 22% 21%
Gingrich 11% 17% 5%
Romney 5% 6% 5%
[Next highest was George Pataki at 3%]
January 23, 2007
Poll Alert: Rassmussen 2008 GOP & General Election
Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 571 Likely Republican Primary Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports January 15-18, 2007. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence (results reported may not be complete-KWN):
Rudy Giuliani 30%
John McCain 22%
Newt Gingrich 12%
Mitt Romney 10%
[Next highest were Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback, tied at 2%]
January 24, 2007
Angus Reid Global Monitor : Polls & Research
Republicans 2008: Giuliani 34%, McCain 27%
(Angus Reid Global Monitor) - Rudy Giuliani remains the most popular presidential hopeful for Republican Party supporters in the United States, according to a poll by TNS released by the Washington Post and ABC News. 34 per cent of respondents would support the former New York City mayor in a 2008 primary.
[NB: The first number listed reflects the survey taken in Jan. 2007, and the second number listed reflects Nov. 2006.]
Rudy Giuliani 34% 34%
John McCain 27% 26%
Mitt Romney 9% 5%
Newt Gingrich 9% 12%
[Next highest was George Pataki at 2%/ 3%]
January 19-21, 2007
Poll Alert: Strategic Vision Iowa
600 likely Republican caucus goers:
Rudy Giuliani 25%
John McCain 21%
Newt Gingrich 13%
Mitt Romney 8%
Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007
Washington Post-ABC News Poll
This poll was conducted by telephone January 16-19, 2007, among a random national sample of 1,000 adults. The results have a three-point error margin. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.
(ASKED OF LEANED REPUBLICANS) If the 2008 Republican presidential primary or caucus in your state were being held today, for whom would you vote?
[NB: The first number listed reflects the survey taken 19 Jan. 2007, and the second number listed reflects 11 Dec. 2006.]
Rudy Giuliani 34% 34%
John McCain 27% 26%
Mitt Romney 9% 5%
Newt Gingrich 9 % 12%
[Next highest was Tommy Thompson at 1% and 2%]
Now, as I promised, here is the “parsing of the numbers” from the WaPo’s own Political Columnist/Analyst:
“Turning to the Republicans, the only subgroup comparisons worth making at the moment are between Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). None of the other potential candidates garner enough support to make the slicing and dicing of their numbers insightful.
“Overall, Giuliani led McCain 34 percent to 27 percent. No other candidate nudged into double figures; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) each received nine percent.
“Drilling down into the numbers, the first thing that becomes clear is that Giuliani's lead is the result of a somewhat striking gender gap. While Giuliani and McCain both take 32 percent among men, Hizzoner leads McCain 35 percent to 22 percent among women. Among married men and women the gap is even larger. Married men favor McCain by a 36 percent to 30 percent margin; married women go for Giuliani 40 percent to 20 percent. Are these married women the "security moms" over whom so much ink was spilled in the 2004 election? Is Giuliani's lead among females tied to his handling of Sept. 11, 2001 and the belief that he can best keep the country safe from future attack? And will these numbers move when details of Giuliani's personal life, which have been fodder for the New York tabloids, become more widely known?
“The other intriguing contrast in the McCain/Giuliani numbers come when voters are broken down by ideology. Moderate Republican voters go for Giuliani 37 percent to 32 percent -- not terribly surprising given that the former mayor is clearly the most moderate/liberal candidate in the field. Self-identified conservatives chose Giuliani 33 percent to 21 percent.
“The twelve-point bulge for Giuliani among conservatives reveals two things. First, Giuliani's Sept. 11 aura appears at the moment to be masking or eclipsing his liberal social views in the eyes of conservative voters. Second, although McCain agrees with conservatives on most issues he still bears the lingering scars of the 2000 campaign when he was cast -- wrongly his staff argues -- as the moderate alternative to the conservative George W. Bush.
“For McCain to win the nomination he must hope that these conservatives decide he is the best combination of a candidate who generally supports their views and who can also win in November 2008. Romney is gunning for these influential conservative voters but could struggle due to his evolving position on social issues. Enter Gingrich or even Sen. Sam Brownback (Kans.).”