TIME: Rudy's the Strongest General Election Candidate
No head to head matchup, but Time once again polls on individual candidates and who Americans would vote for and not for. I've rolled up the scores into overall positives and negatives, as well as the net change since the last poll of this kind in July:
Rudy Giuliani 51% - 40% (-4% change)
Hillary Clinton 41% - 53% (-8% change)
John McCain 40% - 47% (-16% change)
Al Gore 39% - 56% (-6% change)
John Kerry 34% - 57% (-13% change)
In July, John McCain was the most undefined of the major contenders. Those numbers have dropped and they've all fallen into the unfavorable column -- and more. Rudy is the only candidate a majority of Americans would vote for. He's also the only candidate that a plurality of Americans would like to see run.
The idea that Republicans will flock to McCain out of desperation is just noise from an alternate universe. Ignore it. In fact, McCain is fast headed into Hillary territory in terms of his divisiveness, while Rudy Giuliani remains far and away the strongest primary and general election candidate, and has earned the mantle of established GOP frontrunner in the Reagan/Bush tradition.