Thursday, December 21, 2006

Giuliani Most Favorably Viewed of Possible 2008 Candidates

Gallup reports Rudy Giuliani is the most positively viewed of a group of 11 possible 2008 presidential candidates. Seventy-seven percent of Americans hold a favorable view of former New York mayor:

A majority of Americans also have positive views of Condoleezza Rice, John Edwards, John McCain, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Barack Obama is viewed favorably by those who are familiar with him, but remains unknown to about half the public. The public has mixed views of John Kerry, Al Gore, and Newt Gingrich, and is not familiar with Mitt Romney or Sam Brownback. An update on Republicans' and Democrats' preferences for their respective party's 2008 presidential nominees shows few changes, with Giuliani and McCain tied atop the Republican list and Clinton with a significant lead over Obama and the rest of the Democratic field.

Giuliani easily outdistances all Republican and Democratic contenders in terms of his overall favorability ratings. Edwards, McCain, and Clinton all have favorabilty ratings above 50%. Clinton's unfavorables are roughly twice those of Edwards and McCain. Gore (45%), Kerry (45%), and Gingrich (42%) also have high unfavorable ratings.

Obama's rating are more positive (42%) than negative (11%), but 47% are not familiar enough with Obama to rate him. Sixty-nine percent cannot provide a rating of Romney. Those who can rate Romney are more positive (19%) than negative (12%).

Gallup's assessment isn't much different than the findings of Quinnipiac University's warm and fuzzy poll. In Quinnipiac's "thermometer reading," taken the week after the November 7 election, Giuliani, McCain, and Obama came out on top.

It's much too early for presidential beauty contests to be meaningful. I doubt Giuliani will maintain his high favorabilty ratings once the voters become fully engaged.

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