"Moderates" Lead the Pack
Rasmussen released a poll today regarding where many Americans place the leading ‘08 contenders on the political spectrum. Not suprisingly, Rudy and McCain are viewed as moderates when using this poll as a gauge:
The latest Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 36% of Americans classify Giuliani as a political moderate. Twenty-nine percent (29%) say conservative and 15% liberal. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.
These survey results place Giuliani three points to the left of the political center.
The political center is calculated by subtracting the number of liberals from the number of conservatives among the general public (35% conservative, 18% liberal for a net +17). For Giuliani, 29% conservative minus 15% liberal equals a net plus 14. The plus 14 reading for Giuliani is 3 points away from the plus 17 reading for the general public.
While most candidates want to be as close to the political center as possible, Giuliani may seek the nomination of a party that is to the right of the political center. Among his own party ranks, 43% consider Giuliani moderate, 31% conservative and 13% liberal. However, many pundits believe perceptions of the Mayor will shift as Republican primary voters learn more about his views on abortion and other issues.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, current frontrunner for the 2008 GOP presidential nod, is seen by 46% of Republicans as moderate. Nineteen percent (19%) say he's conservative and 19% liberal.
Interestingly, Rudy is viewed as Conservative by 31% to 19% over McCain, while McCain is viewed as Liberal by 19% to 13%. This poll is important because it shows how Americans generally view both candidates before the campaign really begins.
And how about Hillary?
Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former First Lady—and Giuliani's "would-have-been" opponent in his abandoned 2002 U.S. Senate race places 55 points to the left of center.