Giuliani puts Blue America into play
What's up with the purple states?
Today's Quinnipiac University national poll had good news for Rudy Giuliani. Looking to 2008, voters prefer him to Hillary Clinton by a margin of 48% to 43% (margin of error 2.5%). McCain also leads Clinton but within the margin of error. Voters were surveyed February 13-19.
Slicing the results is interesting: Giuliani beats Clinton 55% to 38% in states that went for Bush in 2004, illustrating once again that social conservatives aren't leaping into Hillary's boat just because she's only been married once.
In states that Kerry won, Giuliani ties Clinton 46% to 46% — an exciting result.
But in the so-called "purple states", where the margin between Bush and Kerry in 2004 was less than 7%, Giuliani trails Clinton 44% to 45%. Similarly, Giuliani loses to both Obama and Edwards in the purple states, while trouncing them in the blue states.
Why this counterintuitive result? The four explanations I can think of:
- The purple states include states like Ohio and New Hampshire that trended heavily Democratic in 2006. The situation there may be worse for Republicans than elsewhere.
- The solid blue states include New York and New Jersey, where Giuliani is widely popular, especially compared to Edwards and Obama.
- Giuliani puts into play those states that tend to be "culturally blue, economically red" — like New York and California, with strong traditions of social liberalism but also willingness to select Republican governors. These states weren't purple in 2004 — they were solidly behind Kerry.
- Sample size. The Quinnipiac results were based on a nationwide survey of 1536 voters, so the sampling error for particular states or groups of states may be very high; results in both "blue" and "purple" states are only hints at actual opinion.
Overall the poll is evidence of what Rudy supporters have known all along: Giuliani can easily hold the red states and put the Democrats on the defensive in blue America