Have Boffo Poll Numbers Persuaded Giuliani to Run?

Despite speculation about Rudy Giuliani’s reluctance to run for President, and skepticism that he’s a viable candidate, it looks as though he’s about ready to officially declare himself a candidate. This comes as little surprise to anyone who received the following “Team Rudy” e-mail from Brent Seaborn, a former Bush operative now putting together the Giuliani campaign team. Are Giuliani’s numbers — both his approval rating and his vote share against McCain — so boffo that he won’t be able to resist running? I’d think that anyone with such numbers would want to run for President.

It will be interesting, however, to see how his approval ratings among white evangelical Christians (76%) and conservative Republicans (82%) change once he hits the big stage and everyone realizes that, as New York City’s mayor, he was pro-choice and pro-gun control (and is on his third marriage). It’s also interesting to see how Giuliani is consistently referred to in the campaign e-mail as “Mayor” Giuliani. Although it would be highly unusual for a U.S. President to be elected without having held a rank higher than mayor, it does get around that fact that sitting Senators, e.g., have a terrible time in modern Presidential elections since their voting records can be used so vigorously against them. Nor, given the outcomes of the 2006 midterm elections, does incumbency of any sort seem to make anyone bulletproof. Along those lines, it’s also worth noting that by the time the GOP primaries start, Giuliani will have been out of office for more than six years. Which, oddly enough, may turn out to have been his six most valuable years in politics.

To: Team Rudy
From: Brent Seaborn, Strategy Director
Date: February 2, 2007
Re: Rudy and the Republican Nomination

Over the last month or two there has been a good deal of public opinion polling on the 2008 Republican primary race. I thought it would be helpful to take a step back and take a closer look at how voters – particularly Republican primary voters – feel about Rudy Giuliani and why we think we are well-positioned heading in to the primary season.

Americans Have a Highly Favorable Opinion of Mayor Giuliani
Entering the 2008 primary season, Rudy Giuliani is uniquely positioned among potential Republican candidates because of his extremely high favorability ratings. Recent public opinion polling shows Mayor Giuliani with 61% approval among adults across the country – according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll (Jan. 16-19, 2007). The well respected, bipartisan Battleground Poll (Jan 8-11, 2007) shows the Mayor with 65% favorability among likely voters. More importantly, Mayor Giuliani shows an 81% favorable rating among Republicans and only 10% with an unfavorable opinion.

According to the Battleground poll, Mayor Giuliani also has surprisingly high favorability ratings beyond the base:

  • 70% of independents are favorable,
  • 70% of 35-44 year olds,
  • 74% of married women,
  • 73% of households married with children,
  • 52% of minority voters

The Mayor also enjoys strong approval among white evangelical Christians (76%) and self-described conservative Republicans (82%). In an even more recent poll, Gallup (Jan. 25-28, 2007) finds Mayor Giuliani also leads among Republicans on 7 of 10 key issues including terrorism, the economy, healthcare and fighting crime. He also leads on 11 of 15 key candidate attributes – including “better understands the problems faced by ordinary Americans”, “would manage government more effectively” and what I believe to be the single most important factor – “is the stronger leader.”

In sum, while we fully expect these polls to tighten in the months and weeks to come, Republican voters genuinely know and like Rudy Giuliani.

The Mayor Performs Well in Opinion Polls
The Mayor’s exceptionally strong approval ratings also translate in to an advantage on Republican primary ballot tests. In 11 of 13 ballot tests in respected national public opinion polls [Fox News, Newsweek, Time Gallup, CNN, NBC/Wall Street Journal, ABC/Washington Post] since last November, Mayor Giuliani has a lead – in fact, his lead is on average, more than 5-points over the next closest candidate. And his ballot strength began to trend upward after the 2006 midterm elections.

Mayor Giuliani Leads in Key 2008 Primary States
Mayor Giuliani also leads in a series of other states that will likely prove critical in the 2008 Republican primary:

State

Mayor Giuliani

Closest Competitor

Source

California 33% 19% (Gingrich) ARG – Jan. 11-17
Florida 30% 16% (Gingrich) ARG – Jan. 4-9
Illinois 33% 24% (McCain) ARG – Jan. 11-14
Michigan 34% 24% (McCain) ARG – Jan. 4-7
Nevada 31% 25% (McCain) ARG – Dec. 19-23, ’06
New Jersey 39% 21% (McCain) Quinnipiac – Jan. 16-22
North Carolina 34% 26% (McCain) ARG – Jan. 11-15
Ohio 30% 22% (McCain) Quinnipiac – Jan. 23-28
Pennsylvania 35% 25% (McCain) ARG Jan. 4-8
Texas 28% 26% (McCain) Baselice Jan. 17-21

Conclusion
Recent polling continues to suggest Mayor Giuliani is very well positioned within the party – particularly when compared to other potential Republican candidates – to win the nomination.

Mayor Giuliani’s favorable public opinion stems not only from his extraordinary leadership in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks and in the uncertainty that followed, but also from a remarkably strong record of accomplishments in fighting crime and turning around New York City’s economy in the 1990’s.

Americans are anxious for fresh Republican leadership on a range of issues. Our voters are drawn to the leadership strength of a candidate during an election. Therefore, as we move forward with exploring a run for President and as we continue to share the Mayor’s story of strong leadership and Reagan-like optimism and vision, we hope to see continued growth in our foundation of support.


lermit

How to Lie with Statistics would make good reading material for anyone interested in politics. For this specific case, it is pointless to assume that popularity in polls before the election has a relationship to political ability.

.lermit

Mack

Guiliani may have been 'only' a mayor, but he had under his control more money, population and manpower than the governors of many states.

True, he didn't have to deal with a legislature, but then, he did have to deal with a school board and several unions. I'd call it a wash.

Not that I'd ever vote for him. I just like his chances vs McCain.

wesleyb41

This is a constant debate within my household. My father believes that Gingrich will get the nomination, and I beliebve Giuliani will get it. I think when it comes down to it, the same problem that Senators face with their voting record being used as a tool against them will affect Gingrich. Giuliani is the face of calm in a crisis to my generation. If he gets the nomination, he wins. Hillary would NOT beat him in NY or CA or FL.

bertrecords

I hope this doesn't turn into a political blog.

pkimelma

"Hillary would NOT beat him in NY or CA or FL". I hope you are joking. Right now, he is just a statue to most, representing strength in a time of crisis (when the President was nowhere to be seen). But, once in the National political arena, his true nature and his behavior and foibles will all come out; he will be an easy smear target (sad, but true). Whether it is a good thing or bad, Presidential politics is a rough business, and a real test of how one can handle near constant attacks and constant analysis of everything you did or said.

zbicyclist

So, possibly Hillary vs. Rudy, somewhat of a replay of their rivalry for the senate seat Hillary got.

Just a reminder: Douglas beat Lincoln for the Senate in 1858. Lincoln beat Douglas for the Presidency in 1860.

[Senators were elected by the legislature. In the state election, the Democrats won a narrow majority of seats in the legislature. The legislature re-elected Douglas.]

JRip

Rudolph Giuliani, was looking pretty down and out at the end of his tenure as Mayor until his 5-Star performance after 9/11 raised his profile.

While he had some noteworthy achievements in my eyes he has some major flaws as a manager. Here are 3:

RG hired, admired and partnered with Bernard Kerik. Then promoted him to GWBush as a candidate for head of Homeland Security.
A president needs to hire good people and manage them well.

Do we need more folks of the caliber of Harriet Meiers? I hope never to hear another president say anything like "Heck of a job, Brownie."

RG botched the divorce from his 2nd wife. It was a very public mess.

RG located New York's emergency command and control center in the World Trade Center rather than a concrete bunker in an outlying region.

Let's hope the Republicans find someone better.

lermit

How to Lie with Statistics would make good reading material for anyone interested in politics. For this specific case, it is pointless to assume that popularity in polls before the election has a relationship to political ability.

.lermit

Mack

Guiliani may have been 'only' a mayor, but he had under his control more money, population and manpower than the governors of many states.

True, he didn't have to deal with a legislature, but then, he did have to deal with a school board and several unions. I'd call it a wash.

Not that I'd ever vote for him. I just like his chances vs McCain.

wesleyb41

This is a constant debate within my household. My father believes that Gingrich will get the nomination, and I beliebve Giuliani will get it. I think when it comes down to it, the same problem that Senators face with their voting record being used as a tool against them will affect Gingrich. Giuliani is the face of calm in a crisis to my generation. If he gets the nomination, he wins. Hillary would NOT beat him in NY or CA or FL.

bertrecords

I hope this doesn't turn into a political blog.

pkimelma

"Hillary would NOT beat him in NY or CA or FL". I hope you are joking. Right now, he is just a statue to most, representing strength in a time of crisis (when the President was nowhere to be seen). But, once in the National political arena, his true nature and his behavior and foibles will all come out; he will be an easy smear target (sad, but true). Whether it is a good thing or bad, Presidential politics is a rough business, and a real test of how one can handle near constant attacks and constant analysis of everything you did or said.

zbicyclist

So, possibly Hillary vs. Rudy, somewhat of a replay of their rivalry for the senate seat Hillary got.

Just a reminder: Douglas beat Lincoln for the Senate in 1858. Lincoln beat Douglas for the Presidency in 1860.

[Senators were elected by the legislature. In the state election, the Democrats won a narrow majority of seats in the legislature. The legislature re-elected Douglas.]

JRip

Rudolph Giuliani, was looking pretty down and out at the end of his tenure as Mayor until his 5-Star performance after 9/11 raised his profile.

While he had some noteworthy achievements in my eyes he has some major flaws as a manager. Here are 3:

RG hired, admired and partnered with Bernard Kerik. Then promoted him to GWBush as a candidate for head of Homeland Security.
A president needs to hire good people and manage them well.

Do we need more folks of the caliber of Harriet Meiers? I hope never to hear another president say anything like "Heck of a job, Brownie."

RG botched the divorce from his 2nd wife. It was a very public mess.

RG located New York's emergency command and control center in the World Trade Center rather than a concrete bunker in an outlying region.

Let's hope the Republicans find someone better.