Giuliani Blog Tracking the likely Presidential candidacy of Rudy Giuliani

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Gallup Poll Sheds Light On GOPer’s Perceptions of Rudy vs. McCain

The brand new Gallup poll released today details Republican's perceptions of each candidate:

A recent Gallup Panel poll shows Rudy Giuliani and John McCain the clear frontrunners among the Republican Party's 2008 presidential hopefuls. In the most recent test of rank-and-file Republicans' presidential nomination preferences, 31% said they would be most likely to support Giuliani and 27% said McCain. When asked to choose between the two, however, Republicans show a slight preference for Giuliani at 50% to 42%, respectively.

The results show Giuliani enjoys a remarkably strong image relative to McCain in terms of his likability. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans say Giuliani is the more likable candidate; only 21% choose McCain. Additionally, Giuliani has wide leads over McCain for handling crime, doing the better job in a crisis, uniting the country, understanding the problems of ordinary Americans, being the better public speaker, and being the stronger leader. McCain's strengths center on his handling of moral values issues, his ability to handle most foreign policy issues, and his ethical standards -- but his leads are much weaker than Giuliani's top strengths in terms of magnitude.

Giuliani is currently viewed as the candidate more likely to win the presidential election though Republicans are divided as to which candidate has the better chance of winning the party's presidential nomination. People are also relatively closely divided in their assessment of whether McCain or Giuliani is more qualified to be president -- though McCain has a slight edge on this.

The Jan. 25-28, 2007 poll asked Republicans and independents who say they lean to the Republican Party to rate Giuliani versus McCain on each of 15 specific issue characteristics. Of the 15 characteristics tested, Giuliani is viewed as having a clear advantage on 10 items. McCain "wins" on only three dimensions, and the two candidates are essentially tied on the remaining two.
And the breakdown:
Republicans' Ratings of Giuliani and McCain
on Character and Political Dimensions
January 2007 Gallup Poll

  • Is more likeable: Giuliani 74% - McCain 21%
  • Would be better in a crisis: Giuliani 68% - McCain 28%
  • Would do more to unite the country: Giuliani 65% - McCain 28%
  • Is the better public speaker: Giuliani 61% - McCain 27%
  • Better understands the problems faced by ordinary Americans: Giuliani 60% - McCain 33%
  • Is the stronger leader: Giuliani 59% - McCain 34%
  • Would perform better in the debates: Giuliani 56% - McCain 37%
  • Would manage the government more effectively: Giuliani 55% - McCain 37%
  • Has the better chance of beating the Democratic nominee in the 2008 presidential election: Giuliani 55% - McCain 38%
  • Would run the more positive campaign: Giuliani 50% - McCain 38%
  • Has the better chance of winning the Republican presidential nomination in 2008: Giuliani 47% - McCain 46%
  • Would be respected more by leaders of other countries: Giuliani 45% - McCain 45%
  • Is more qualified to be president: Giuliani 41% - McCain 50%
  • Would work better with Congress: Giuliani 41% - McCain 52%
  • Has higher ethical standards: Giuliani 35% - McCain 50%
Overall, Giuliani appears to be very well-positioned against McCain on many relevant and important dimensions.

Significantly, of course, it is important to note that McCain is viewed by Republicans as more qualified to be president than Giuliani. His strength on working better with Congress undoubtedly flows from his own experience as a U.S. Representative from 1983-1986 and as a U.S. Senator since 1987. McCain's strength on the basis of ethical standards may result both from his own background and questions about Giuliani's business activities since the end of his mayorship of New York City as well as the events surrounding his recent divorce and re-marriage.

But Giuliani's perceived strengths are many, and the distance between Giuliani and McCain on some of these dimensions is very large. For example, there is a 53-point gap in the percent who choose the former New York City mayor made "more likable" compared to McCain and a 37-point gap on the dimension of "most likely to unite the country."
Interesting to note is the "ethical standards" question where McCain leads Rudy 50% to 35%. I believe that this may be an indication that Republicans are aware of Rudy's personal life. However, it appears that they simply don't care.

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