- definitely vote for
- consider voting for
- definitely vote against
- Hillary Clinton
- Al Gore
- John Kerry
- Rudy Giuliani
- John McCain
- Jeb Bush
Anyway, the Democrats (or progressive leaning independents I suppose) responding weren't very thrilled with any of their choices. Hillary got the most definite Yes votes, but they only totaled 22%, with 47% saying definitely No. Gore and Kerry did worse. It should be noted, however, that each of them also got a larger percentage of "would consider voting for" in addition to the definite Yes responses. When you combine the definites and maybes, Clinton gets 50% with Gore and Kerry each getting 49% as opposed to the 48% and 47% definite No votes stacked up against them. Bottom line... nobody is that enthusiastic about these choices.
The Republicans did a tad bit better in terms of generating some positive excitement. While none of them got as high as Hillary in the definite Yes column, the combination of Yes and Maybe votes brought Rudy Giuliani in at 64% with only 30% saying definitely No. McCain was close behind with 60% vs 34% "No" votes. Virtually nobody was interested in seeing Jeb Bush run, thankfully.
Two items of note come from this poll, I think. The first is that America seems to be sick of politicians at this point and nobody is able to generate any sort of wide ranging "Oh my God, Yes! They should be President!" type approval. If the best any of them can do is 22%, that's got to be indicative of something.
The second item is one that I've pointed out before and is something that both Democrats and Republicans should be taking note of... the secret weapon called Rudy Giuliani. You see, nobody among the party faithful in the GOP and the conservatives wants Rudy. He's a "Republican Lite" member from New York, and would be considered a liberal by most rank and file conservatives. However, should the party find itself facing an almost certain White House loss in '08 because of the GOP's disastrous reputation currently and the albatross of George W. Bush around their necks, they'd probably still prefer Rudy to *any* Democrat, yes? So it's not impossible that a desperate enough GOP would give him the nod to run.
This brings us to the Democrats' traditional Two State dilemma. In the current political climate, (and it's been this way for some time now and doesn't look to change radically in the near future) in order for the Democrats - for ANY DEMOCRAT - to win the Presidency, they first have to carry both New York and California. I'm sure a lot of people hate facing up to that reality, but it's the truth. If your candidate can't carry both of those states, the race is over and the Republicans win. End of story.
The big secret is, Rudy could take New York. Probably even against Hillary. He's wildly popular in New York - the guy is a political Rock Star here - and his numbers are consistently way up in the positive range. And New Yorkers have no problem voting for high level Republicans (as evidenced by Pataki's last decade in office) as long as they are the "right kind" of Republicans. (In other words, RINOs.) And if the GOP puts up Rudy in '08 and he does carry the Empire State, the race is over and the Democrats take home another loss.
Now Rudy has some really positive national name recognition. He was Mayor of New York City and never had to sit in the House or the Senate and cast any votes you could call him on the carpet over. Very few negatives and lots of positives.
Keep an eye on Rudy and watch his moves. He could be the only silver bullet the Republicans have left in the gun given their current lack of popularity. And the Democrats should be watching him like a hawk.