Given our Giuliani discussion, I thought it would be worthwhile to point out some data from the latest Cook Political Report/RT Strategies Poll. It backs up what I've been saying about Rudy's chances of capturing the Republican nomination.
The headline number is that Giuliani is the first choice of 32 percent of Republicans, McCain, his closest rival, is at 20 percent. Meanwhile, Gingrich at 10 percent, Frist is at 8 percent, Romney is at 5 percent and Allen is at 4 percent.
There have been questions raised as to whether Giuliani can succeed in the South, given his liberal social views. Well, a separate question asked respondents how they like certain politicians "as a person," on a scale from 0 to 100. In the South, Giuliani scored 62.4, which is higher than anyone else on the list, including McCain and President Bush.
People may like Giuliani as a person, critics may contend, but their support will errode once they learn of his liberal social views. However, yet another question in the poll asked:
Thinking about Rudy Giuliani. Some people say he really cleaned up
New York City as Mayor and made it a safer place, and then he showed real courage as a leader after the attack on the World Trade Center. Other people say that his views on some issues-because he is pro-choice on abortion, and supports gun control and gay rights-makes it hard for them to support him for President. Having heard that, which of the following two statements comes closer to your opinion: The Republicans should nominate Giuliani for President, or the Republicans should not nominate Giuliani for President.
Among Republicans, 55 percent said he should be nominated, compared with 39 percent who said he should not.
Sure, there's the obvious caveat that there's a long way until 2008, but I think this another blow to the conventional wisdom that Rudy can't win.