by Jonathan Singer, Mon Jan 21, 2008 at 09:30:21 AM EST
I am not in the general habit of writing about third-rate candidates who have little to no shot at their party's nomination, but when the opportunity arises for a little Rudy schadenfreude, it's hard for me to pass it up.
Today's Siena poll does not bode well for Rudy Giuliani's Feb. 5 big-state strategy, showing New Hampshire/South Carolina victor John McCain has surged into a 12-point lead over the former mayor in his home state.
McCain has the support of 36 percent of New York Republicans, compared to 24 percent for Giuliani, who led McCain 48-15 just one month ago.
Coming on the heels of this morning's Siena poll, the WNBC/Marist poll shows much the same: John McCain has blown past Rudy Giuliani in the former mayor's home state with a 15-point lead among Republicans likely to vote in the Feb. 5 primary.
Among enrolled GOP voters, including leaners, McCain got 34 percent to Giuliani's 23 percent. Among likely voters, McCain remained at 34 percent, while Giuliani was tied with Mitt Romney for second at 19 percent and Mike Huckabee received 15 percent.
In the past week or so Josh Marshall has been having a debate over at his site over whether Giuliani's candidacy is the greatest flop in history, with some saying that Giuliani indeed holds the honor while others point to Gary Hart in 1988 or Ted Kennedy in 1980. I'm not going to step in the middle of that debate, but suffice it to say this polling is about as embarrassing as it comes for Giuliani. At the same time, these numbers serve to underscore the need to soften up John McCain while we still can.