CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Most Republicans view Rudy Giuliani as "politically moderate," a label that is supposed to be the kiss of death in a GOP presidential primary. But Rasmussen is out with polling data this Valentine's Day showing hizzoner has widened his lead over Sen. John McCain, No. 2, and everybody else on the right. In fact, the pollster says America loves the mayor and if the election were held today he'd beat every Democratic contender as well.
Romance and Rudy are in the air. But how long might it last? Hearts break and sweeties do separate -- as the mayor knows all too well.
The February 5-8 national telephone survey of 507 likely Republican primary voters is the latest in Rasmussen's weekly tracking polls, and it gives the former New York mayor a five point jump . He holds a "solid, double digit lead in the race for the Republican presidential nomination," Rasmussen reported. The numbers are Giuliani, 32%; McCain, 18%; Gingrich, 10%, and Romney, 8%. Republicans were surveyed before Romney announced this week, and before Giuliani made his speech to the California GOP state convention last Saturday that seemed to indicate he was officially a candidate. Or maybe the speech didn't imply that. Nobody is exactly sure, including the mayor.
Rasmussen Reports said perceptions of McCain have shifted among Democrats and independents, with more saying he is a conservative than in December. McCain is pushing for more troops in Iraq. Among Republicans, McCain is seen as a moderate. And so is Giuliani, an ideological tag that has not hurt him in his own party. In fact, Rasmussen said 66% of Republicans view hizzoner as an ideological moderate.
"These perceptions help explain why Giuliani consistently outperforms McCain in general election matchups against leading Democrats. Giuliani leads against every Democrat including Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Barack Obama, former Senator John Edwards and former Vice President Al Gore," Rasmussen said.
The entire Rasmussen Reports is HERE.