Republican Frontrunner: McCain or Giuliani?

John McCain has been running for president virtually non-stop since 1999 and was long considered the odds-on favorite for the Republican nomination. In recent months, he consistently polls behind the almost-certainly-more-liberal Rudy Giuliani among likely Republican voters.

The latest Rasmussen poll is no different, with Giuliani supported by 33% of Likely Primary Voters with McCain at 19%. Indeed, the 14 point gap between Giuliani and McCain is much wider than the gap between McCain and number three finisher Newt Gingrich (13%).

Still, Hotline‘s Amy Dudley sees signs of a McCain rebound. She thinks his President’s Day Weekend campaign trip through IL, OH, IA, FL and SC (for which he skipped the Senate debate on the non-binding Iraq War surge resolution) “paid off, gaining key conservative support in competitive states.”

So far, though, it’s not being picked up in the for-public-release polls.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Lots of things could happen, but the sense I get is he is definitely in second place (which is better than Mitt is doing, which in turn is better than anyone else who’s announced).

    I would not have a problem pulling the lever for McCain in the general election vs any of the democrats currently running, but I don’t plan to support him in the primary as my first choice.

  2. TheHat says:

    McCain can’t be trusted to be anything Republican. He has voted Liberal on all important issues and obstructed all Conservative efforts since 1999. I’m Conservative and I’d rather make things worse by voting for the worst Liberal available than vote for McCain.

    Vote ‘No’ on McCain. Period. It can’t hurt and it might help.

  3. Alan says:

    What Republican Pundits and politicians need to realize, Guiliani’s high polling numbers are a Republican rank and file backlash against social conservatism. We’ve had enough.

  4. carpeicthus says:

    Brownback.

  5. >McCain can’t be trusted to be anything
    >Republican. He has voted Liberal on all
    >important issues and obstructed all
    >Conservative efforts since 1999. I’m
    >Conservative and I’d rather make things worse
    >by voting for the worst Liberal available than
    >vote for McCain.

    With the exception of failure to rubber-stamp the Glorious Leader’s war policy, on exactly which issues has McCain gone against the party?

  6. Fersboo says:

    Alan at February 21, 2007 12:55 Permalink

    What Republican Pundits and politicians need to realize, Guiliani’s high polling numbers are a Republican rank and file backlash against social conservatism. We’ve had enough.

    Uh, no. It is an issue with priorities, not a backlash against social conservatism.

  7. floyd says:

    Alan; You do stand-up too??[lol]

  8. Frank says:

    No, it IS a backlash against social conservatism. A majority of this country holds relatively – again, RELATIVELY – progressive viewpoints on social issues, which tend to be personal issues, such as abortion, gay unions (not gay marriage, which most are opposed to), stem cell research, etc. It is time for the Republican Party to rediscover what a REAL Republican looks like – fiscally conservative and socially moderate.

    THAT’s your period. Voting for real Republicans can’t hurt and WILL help!