Rudy's Swing State Strength

Quinnipiac has some interesting polls out of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which show that, while Rudy is slipping among GOP primary voters in these states, he remains extremely strong in head-to-head general election match-ups.

In all three states, Fred Thompson has ascended to second place within 6-8 points of Giuliani. Additionally, contrary to early state trends, McCain is still relatively strong in these states (3rd place in FL & OH and tied for 2nd in PA,) while Romney is in either 4th or 5th (behind Gingrich) so the head-to-head numbers don't include Romney (only top 3 were polled.) On the Democratic side, since Gore was included in the polling, Edwards is relegated to 4th place in these states and similarly was left out of the head-to-head match-ups.

As you would expect from these states, which conventional wisdom says are trending blue, the Democrats excel in the head-to-head match-ups against McCain (although he and Obama are tied in Florida) and Thompson. Giuliani on the other hand beats Obama in all three (although it's very close in OH & PA) and the best Clinton can do against him is tie in OH & PA.

While Giuliani's strength in these states should perhaps not be terribly surprising, what with the NYC transplant population in FL and PA's proximity to New York, another statistic from the poll seems to tell the tale: his remarkably high favorability ratings (and accompanying low unfavorable marks.)

Florida:

Head-to-head:
Giuliani beats Clinton 48 - 42 percent, compared to a 47 - 42 percent Giuliani lead June 7
Giuliani tops Illinois Sen. Barack Obama 47 - 39 percent
Favorable/Unfavorable:
Giuliani: 54/28
Clinton: 47/47
Obama: 44/19

Ohio:

Head-to-head:
Clinton ties Giuliani 43 - 43 percent, compared to May 16 when Giuliani led 47 - 43 percent
Giuliani gets 42 percent to Obama's 40 percent
Favorable/Unfavorable:
Giuliani: 50/23
Clinton: 47/44
Obama: 43/20

Pennsylvania:

Head-to-head:
Giuliani and Clinton are tied 45 - 45 percent, compared to a 47 - 43 percent Giuliani lead May 31.
Giuliani gets 44 percent to Obama's 43 percent
Favorable/Unfavorable:
Giuliani: 53/27
Clinton: 48/42
Obama: 46/20

Nationally, a similar dynamic exists. Even after a couple of bad weeks for Giuliani, the most recent CNN/Opinion Research poll (June 22-24) gives him a ridiculously strong favorable/unfavorable rating of 58/27. In the same poll, Clinton is at 51/44. Similarly, Rasmussen has Rudy at a more down to earth 53/40 vs. Clinton's 49/48. A lot is made of Clinton's high negatives but not enough is said about Rudy' still high positives, which could end up being the Republicans' secret weapon in the general if he gets the nomination.

Tags: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Rudy Giuliani (all tags)

Comments

23 Comments

Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Please explain the huge discrepancies between this polling and the matchups in other recent polls. Why should any of them have any particular credibility?

by cmpnwtr 2007-06-27 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

well, the other head-to-heads have been national, which are fairly irrelevant this far out, although interesting. state-by-state head to heads are slightly more relevant.

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-27 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Excellent point, Todd. IMO, we're in massive trouble if Rudy is the nominee.

I've posted about Rudy's teflon on this site and elsewhere for nearly a year. I don't claim it threatens scientific, but here in Las Vegas I quiz locals and tourists about politics on a near daily basis, by starting conversations in sportsbooks, etc. Rudy has amazing resiliency. I'll mention his wives and personal issues, or how overrated he is in terms of 9/11, and people literally laugh it off. They simply like the guy, and that type of contrast to Hillary in particular is the last thing we need.

Combine that with Rudy's ability to expand the playing field in vital states and we better be rooting for anyone but him to win the GOP nomination. I know I am, despite my 10/1 investment.

When Todd uses phrases like "remarkably high favorability ratings" and "ridiculously strong favorable/unfavorable rating" in one short diary there's a basis for it, and it equates to electability.

Against Thompson it's a standard D vs. R race in a cycle that favors us generically. I'll take my chances there.

The numbers I've been keeping an eye on are Thompson in relation to Rudy in the high delegate states that will decide the nomination. As Todd points out, Thompson has moved to within striking distance, something no other Republican has managed. It's a good hint that Thompson's superior dosage index in terms of conservative issues will eventually push him ahead of Rudy in those states and toward the nomination, provided he doesn't implode during a little technicality called an actual campaign.

As someone pointed out on MyDD yesterday, young voters tilt heavily Democratic on issue after issue, but not so much in terms of pro-life or pro-choice. Rudy would seize a percentage of the general election vote in that regard, including among young voters. It's another reason to root against him. It's pure nonsense that the right wing would sabotage a Rudy nomination by a major third party effort.

by Gary Kilbride 2007-06-27 01:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

"They simply like the guy,"

That's because they don't know him well.  Rudy doesn't wear well over the long haul which is why he is not ahead of one Dem in his home state and can't crack the low 40s in any poll of NY voters.  

Rudy's rational in the primaries is 9/11 and I can win states Rs don't traditionally win but if he is unlikely to win his home state what traditionally Dem state is he going to carry?  

Frankly, as NYCer he doesn't scare me as a candidate.

by John Mills 2007-06-27 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

ARGH - Giuliani's popularity is nonsensical! He doesn't appeal to the left (do people forget he is actually a Republican!?) and he certainly doesn't appeal to the right (cross-dressing, New Yorker, friend of gays, thrice married, and so on....). Who are these people who HATE republicans in every other poll, but LOVE Giuliani in the head-to-heads? How does a 20-point generic spread turn into a negative spread when you throw this guys name out there?

What I'm saying is, why the hell do people love this man???

by LandStander 2007-06-27 01:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

They're called "low information voters."  Things will change on this, I'm pretty sure.  I suspect that in 2008, Iraq will be a seething issue, and it won't matter what Republican is running.

by nanoboy 2007-06-27 03:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

yeah I know a bunch if Texans who say it is between Gules and Obama for them -I don't get it.

by gb1437a 2007-06-27 07:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Rudy and McCain are two guys I won't be worried at all. Too much stuff in their closets.

by kostner 2007-06-27 02:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Look at those Hillary unfavorables. Jesus christ--these are swing states, too.

Guiliani has the 9/11 aura, and his economically conservative/socially liberal stances put him in tune with the majority of the electorate. Also the media will no doubt cover him like a truth-telling "maverick." Should he manage to get the Republican nomination, he'll be pretty tough to beat in the general, especially for Hillary. The potential upside is that a Guiliani nomination could create a strong third-party challenge from a socially conservative candidate and split the Republican base. However that last part is probably wishful thinking.  

by Korha 2007-06-27 02:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Is it wishful thinking? The way I see it, if Giuliani get the nomination, the religious right can either field their own candidate or fade into electoral obscurity. If they want to stay in the game, they will have to fight for it.

by LandStander 2007-06-27 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

put Rudy's strong positives agianst Hillary's strong negatives and well it doesn't  matter because Hillary's inevitable.

by nevadadem 2007-06-27 02:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Go Hillary! Go alienate 48% of the electorate!

by Populism2008 2007-06-27 03:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Obama is catching up. 40% will not vote for him in the general election in the latest Rasmussen.

by robliberal 2007-06-27 04:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

these polls seem to offer a different story...that was one poll... Hillary is consistent

by gb1437a 2007-06-27 07:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

These three polls show Obama with less than half the "unfavorable" rating of Hillary.

by Sam I Am 2007-06-28 04:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

As NYCer, I actually want to run against Rudy.  It is very early and these polls mean very little.  Rudy still has the shine of his performance on and immediately after 9/11.  However, that is starting to come apart given Whitman threw him under the bus this week and the NYC Firefighters Union is on the warpath against him.  Imagine a firefighter suffering from a 9/11 cleanup illness talking about the fact that Rudy didn't spring for respirators, which aren't very expensive, at the clean up site.  You undercut his major strength, 9/11, and what you have left are:

1 - Unqualified support of the war in Iraq using Bushes rhetoric.

2 - Amadou Diallo.  Even many local Rs were appalled at Rudy's berating people when they questioned the police shooting the guy 41 times.  The news conference tapes are going to make great commercials of an egomaniac out of control.

3 - A messy personal life including announcing his divorce in public before telling his wife.

4 - Support of issues that are anathema to Rs including abortion rights, gay rights and gun control.

5 - An extremely prickly personality that he will not be able to keep under wraps during the entire campaign.  Every NYCer I know is waiting for the inevitable meltdown moment.

I don't see him making it to the nomination but if he does he will not be able to hide behind 9/11 forever.  2006 showed America is ready to talk about something else.

by John Mills 2007-06-27 02:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Since we are interested in polls, Giuliani isn't doing especially well in NY according to the Quinnipiac Poll on 6/20:

Clinton 52%
Giuliani - 37%

Obama - 43%
Giuliani - 43%

Gore  - 48%
Giulaini - 42%

No Edwards head to head.

I am not a big believer in polls this early but if Giuliani isn't beating one Dem in his home state with those who know him best, what makes people think he is such a strong candidate nationally.

by John Mills 2007-06-27 02:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

This doesn't scare me all that much.  One thing we've seen in the past week or so is that Rudy is vulnerable.  The only state that I think we have a problem with if Rudy is the nominee is New Jersey.  Too many New Jerseyites appreciate the job Rudy did in "cleaning up" New York.

by Jim Treglio 2007-06-27 03:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Rudy's Swing State Strength

Ironic that NJ voters would be more likely to vote for the guy than people he actually served as Mayor.

by John Mills 2007-06-27 05:51PM | 0 recs
Obama

What these numbers says is that Obama is still unknown among the voters. His fav/unfav ratio is brilliant so far (only 20% unfavs).

It goes a long way to explain why he isn't stronger in the head to head matchups. It will be interesting to see the same matchups in six months time.

by Populism2008 2007-06-27 03:27PM | 0 recs
True

His negatives, I think, are bound to go up. No way he will stay in the 19-20 range. But  he has the potential to get his favorable up as well. If he does that, he will be the stronger general election candidate than Clinton.

by jj32 2007-06-27 04:22PM | 0 recs
You did not mention Rudy's downwards trend

In PA and OH, Rudy was leading by 4 in the last poll  released 3 weeks ago. Now Hillary is tied. The trend favors Hillary.

by kingsbridge77 2007-06-27 03:29PM | 0 recs
Re: You did not mention Rudy's downwards trend

yes, good point. if that trend continues, I'll be happy but his continued high favorables are my concern.

by Todd Beeton 2007-06-27 04:38PM | 0 recs

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