WNBC/Marist Poll: Rudy's Head and Shoulders Above the Field
I don't think there's any doubt about who the frontrunner is. Though this poll is corrupted by the inclusion of Condi Rice, Rudy finishes first in the latest WNBC/Marist Poll and McCain is down to 15% -- right where I thought he'd wind up all along. The poll shows that Republicans are practically begging Rudy to run.
If the 2008 Republican presidential primary were held today, whom would you support if the candidates are: (asked of Republicans and Republican leaning independents)
Rudy Giuliani 23%
Condoleezza Rice 20%
John McCain 15%
Newt Gingrich 7%
Mitt Romney 4%
Bill Frist 4%
George Allen 2%
George Pataki 2%
Sam Brownback 1%
Tom Tancredo 1%
Chuck Hagel <1%
Mike Huckabee <1%
- The general public wants Rudy to run by 54-39%. Republicans want Rudy to run by 78-16%. Democrats don't want him to run by 32-61%. Why would that be?
- 70% of Republicans say Rudy is "about right" ideologically. Just 12% say he is too liberal.
- Rudy leads Hillary 49% to 42%. McCain leads Hillary 48% to 43%. Hillary defeats Rice 49% to 43%.
- The public wants John McCain to run by a much more tepid 47% to 44% margin. No party crosstabs, but I can't imagine the numbers are very good for him here.
We've explored at length before how John McCain tends to be the default Republican/Name ID-driven candidate and how he loses support when someone else (e.g. Condi) enters the race. Condi is unlikely to do so, but it's virtually inconceivable that Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee won't pick up persuadables from the current frontrunners, and that these votes are likely to come disproportionately from McCain.
Once again, it looks like John McCain's torture fight came at exactly the wrong time and Rudy is peaking just at the right time.