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Monday, February 05, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Hires GOP Pollster Who Works Ohio

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A prominent GOP consultant who polled Ohio for former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine and former State Auditor Betty Montgomery in 2006 has been hired by Rudy Giuliani, which probably is a strong signal hizzoner plans to formally enter the '08 presidential race.

[UPDATE: 5 p.m. Rudy is in the race. He hasn't made a big speech yet, but the paperwork is being filed. I saw an interesting take on Giuliani in Sunday's New York Times by Mayor Ed Koch, the Democrat, about 9/11. It was from a book that is coming out called Flawed or Flawless? "Nobody could have done it better than Rudy. But I believe that many, if not most, mayors would have done as well because that's your job. And that saved Rudy's reputation. He became mayor for the world, and you should not take any credit away from him. But to say what he did was unique would be wrong," Koch said. ]

Brian Tringali is a partner with the The Tarrance Group, a research and consulting firm that works for 5 governors, 10 senators and 45 House members. His bio is HERE.

Tringali may not be a household name in state politics, but he turned up in an Ohio Republican Party press release last November that knocked a Columbus Dispatch poll showing DeWine and Montgomery were sinking statewide. They both were defeated on Nov. 8. A portion of the ORP news release is here:

"For Immediate Release Contact: John McClellandSunday, November 5, 2006 (614) 394-3456
Pollsters Discredit Results of Dispatch Poll
Even Dispatch article seems to raise questions the poll’s accuracy
(COLUMBUS) – Veteran Ohio pollsters raised doubts today about the validity of a mail poll released by The Columbus Dispatch showing extraordinary Democratic leads in statewide races.
“The Columbus Dispatch poll released on Sunday certainly does not match our own tracking polls for many of these statewide campaigns,” said longtime Ohio pollster Brian Tringali, a partner with The Tarrance Group and the pollster for U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine and attorney general candidate Betty Montgomery. “The inherent problem with a mail-in survey conducted over a 10-day period is that it is bound to miss late breaking voter movement. Most importantly, too many Ohio voters change their minds during the final two weeks of a campaign.”

Besides politicians, Tringali has polled for groups questioning legalized gambling and gay marriage.

Giuliani came into Ohio in the campaign's closing days to stump for DeWine. The New Yorker is scheduled to deliver the keynote address Saturday at the California GOP's annual convention in Sacramento, and there is growing speculation -- nothing confirmed -- that will use the forum to announce he is officially in the '08 contest.

Hizzoner's national strategy director, Brent Seaborn, put out a memo last week showing Giuliani held leads in 10 states, including Ohio. Seaborn wrote: "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."

Key words -- ''Reagan-like optimism" and "continued growth." It sure looks like Giuliani is running. Is he going to try to out-Gipper the rest of the GOP field? The full text of the Seaborn memo is HERE.

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