The Da Victory Code: Rudy Becoming the Guy to Beat?
The folks over at the N.Y. Observer's PoliTicker have banned me from posting on their blog. Well, banned may to be too strong a word, but they certainly didn't foresee the possibility that there might be someone else out there who understands with metaphysical certainty that McCain-Kennedy will never be the nominee, and that Rudy is the guy to stop him. As it happens, a few other commenters gave voice to the RudyBlogger Thesis of 2008, so they didn't need me.
However, if I were to make an extended argument against The Politicker's snarky inferences, one need look no farther than today's big Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll for clues hidden in plain sight. Let's call it The Da Victory Code.
Clue #1: Is McCain-Kennedy slipping in general election matchups against Hillary? I think it's too early to say for sure, but Rudy does pull down a 9 point lead vs. Hillary (49 to 40), while Fox makes McCain-Kennedy's inside-the-margin lead (46 to 42) of 4 points the lede.
On the blogs and at the New School, McCain-Kennedy is quickly being transformed into a hate figure of the modern left. It's impossible to say how quickly these opinions are being transferred to rank-and-file Democrats, but if we see Rudy running better in two or three more polls, then I'd say it's a trend.
At a minimum, the Left's vitriolic response to McCain-Kennedy shows the sheer folly of attempting to fake your party affiliation for six years, making this phantasmic persona the basis of your appeal, doing a 180, and then hoping no one notices.
Clue #2: Rudy is More Popular Than McCain-Kennedy.
McCain-Kennedy's favorables recently took a dive, to 49-25. Look at the recent trend (from the PDF):
Fav Unfav Not sure Never Heard
16-18 May 06 49% 25 18 7
7-8 Feb 06 54% 18 19 9
13-14 Dec 05 56% 18 18 7
30-31 Aug 05 57% 15 18 10
Now look at Rudy's numbers:
16-18 May 06 64% 15 15 6
7-8 Feb 06 64% 15 15 6
13-14 Dec 05 64% 12 16 8
1-2 Mar 05 69% 14 13 4
Rudy has consistently polled in the mid-60s favorables, about 10 points higher than McCain. Additionally, his unfavorable number is 5 points below McCain's baseline and 10 points below McCain in the most recent poll.
Clue #3: Rudy is More Popular Than McCain-Kennedy -- Among God-fearing, Bible-thumping, Conservative Republicans.
The head-to-head numbers provide some interesting fodder:
Hillary Clinton John McCain (Other/Don’t know)
16-18 May 06 42% 46 13
Democrats 72% 19 9
Republicans 7% 79 14
Independents 38% 46 16
Hillary Clinton Rudy Giuliani (Other/Don’t know)
16-18 May 06 40% 49 12
Democrats 71% 20 9
Republicans 4% 86 9
Independents 37% 48 16
McCain-Kennedy doesn't break 80 against Republicans vs. Hillary, and fully 14 percent remain undecided. Rudy leads her 86 to 4.
The notion that conservatives will hold their nose and pick McCain-Kennedy assumes that he stands an equal chance of beating her as Rudy does. What happens to this calculus as McCain -Kennedy fritters away his goodwill with Democrats and Independents, and starts falling down in head-to-head matchups with Hillary? It begets a vicious circle where conservatives are even less likely to support him because they don't think he can win.
Conservatives aren't dumb. They understand the only way McCain wins is by selling them out. And once they realize that Allen is toast in the general and Romney is at best an outside shot, they are left with one choice.
Rudolph W. Giuliani.