Hillary Clinton Vs. Rudy Giuliani

One of the laughable myths Hillary Clinton opponents for the Democratic nomination love to perpetuate is the “she’s never had a tough race” myth. They are wrong. Hillary Clinton made it look easy in 2000, but the race itself was a tough race.

While we doubt we will ever see a Hillary vs. Rudy race we are happy to know that in such a race Hillary Clinton would keep New York’s crucial 31 electoral votes in the Democratic column. We can’t say that for any other Democratic candidate (more on this later).

Hillary Clinton had a tough Senate race in 2000.

We wrote about Rick Lazio last month and how Hillary beat him when Rudy abandoned the Senate race against Hillary in 2000. Here’s the New York Times on when Hillary met Rudy:

By the time Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York stepped before a wall of television crews in the Public Hearing Room at City Hall on May 19, 2000, there were no surprises left.

In the course of three tumultuous weeks, Mr. Giuliani had been told by doctors that he had prostate cancer. He had announced he was leaving his wife after tabloids reported he was having an affair. And now, he had come to withdraw from the Senate race against Hillary Rodham Clinton, bringing a sudden end to what was arguably the most anticipated Senate campaign of modern times.

Oh, Rudy, we here on Big Pink can’t wait to relive those days – if you ever get the Ripublican nomination (which we most sincerely doubt you will ever get). Here’s the pertinent part of the Times article:

But the 12 months leading to Mr. Giuliani’s departure are as instructive today as they were riveting then: a blistering year of mental gamesmanship, piercing attacks, contrasts in personalities and positions, and blunders, played out by two outsize political figures in a super-heated atmosphere.

It was a year in which both Mr. Giuliani and Mrs. Clinton gained many of the political skills the nation is seeing now as they campaign for president. It was a time in which they took a measure of one another as opponents. And it was a shared chapter in their lives that offers a window into what a 2008 White House contest between these New Yorkers might be like, should they each win their party’s nomination.

In 2000, like in 2007, Hillary was ridiculed, mocked, insulted, derided, and attacked. Hillary, after a few misteps due to that being her very first run as a candidate, regained her footing and typically fought back – effectively.

On the morning when Mr. Giuliani quit, the two sides were deep into preparing for a fall campaign. After an uncertain start in which Mr. Giuliani kept her off balance, Mrs. Clinton had found her way to handle the gibes thrown at her by the confrontational mayor. Rather than engage him, Mrs. Clinton became the foot-tapping, arms-folded sighing mother of a forever misbehaving teenager, a mien intended as much to infantilize Mr. Giuliani as to provoke him.

I can’t be responding every time the mayor gets angry,” Mrs. Clinton said, smiling as she campaigned in upstate New York a few days before Christmas 1999. “Because that’s all I would do.”

Rude Giuliani was prepared to trash Hillary. He prepared the script alleged Democrats are using to attack Hillary today.

Both sides were prepared for the battle. Television advertising scripts had been drafted (“She says she is a Yankee fan, but she hasn’t even been to a Yankee game,” was the tag line of one Giuliani advertisement), vulnerabilities had been identified and campaign themes tested. Mr. Giuliani’s aides had prepared an indexed 315-page dossier compiling positions and potentially damaging quotes from throughout her life, according to people who saw it. (It included an 11-page chronicle titled “Stupid Actions and Remarks.”)

Mr. Giuliani was going to portray Mrs. Clinton as inauthentic, inexperienced, a liberal champion of big government and a carpetbagger, his advisers said in interviews. Mrs. Clinton was going to paint Mr. Giuliani as divisive and undignified, temperamentally unsuited for the Senate, and profoundly uninterested in national and international affairs, her advisers said.

More than anything, the early stages of the 2000 Senate race offered a lesson on the politics of psychological warfare, as each campaign sought, in the words of one Clinton adviser, to “get inside the head” of the other’s candidate.

Like Obama and Edwards today, Rude Giuliani attacked and attacked.

Mr. Giuliani pounced on Mrs. Clinton’s slightest misstep, sensing vulnerability in this new and nervous candidate. The mayor, a former prosecutor, often exaggerated her misdeeds and slightly mischaracterized her positions, aides said, in a deliberate effort to goad her into correcting his version of her record — while Mr. Giuliani skipped on to his next attack. He was brash and theatrical, flying to Little Rock one day to announce that he would fly the Arkansas flag over City Hall in New York to highlight the fact that Mrs. Clinton was running for office in a state where she had never lived.

Hillary of course, won that race. Her victory does not stop Hillary opponents from dragging out the same old tired line of attacks which have failed year after year after year.

As their presidential campaigns look to the past in preparation for a possible renewal of their aborted contest, they have reached strikingly similar conclusions about their potential opponent: Eight years older and more experienced, Mr. Giuliani and Mrs. Clinton are each far tougher and more rounded candidates than they were in 2000.

She is a great candidate now,” said Frank Luntz, who was Mr. Giuliani’s pollster in 2000. “She is a tough-as-nails candidate today. She has learned how to turn people who were openly hostile to her into supporters.”

Anthony V. Carbonetti, one of Mr. Giuliani’s chief political advisers, said Mrs. Clinton’s lack of executive experience was a critical liability with New York voters in 2000, and would be again with national voters.

“But she is a completely different person,” Mr. Carbonetti said. “You have to give her credit for the Senate experience now. She is not the demon now that she was coming out of the White House. I would not underestimate her at all.”

Rude Giuliani was prepared to attack Hillary in 2000, the campaign was tough and would get tougher:

He instructed two of his top consultants from the 1997 campaign for mayor — Adam Goodman and Rick Wilson — to prepare a comprehensive catalog of her public statements, writings and positions going back to when she was a student at Wellesley, a road map into her foibles and vulnerabilities. (Turn to Page 39 for the Lincoln Bedroom; 139 for Whitewater.) [snip]

In these sessions, Mr. Giuliani and his aides concluded that Mrs. Clinton would run a highly ordered, meticulous and policy-driven campaign, make an appeal to women on Long Island, and seek to discredit Mr. Giuliani by identifying him with Washington Republicans.

In Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Giuliani’s aides told the mayor, he was facing a smart, cold and tentative opponent, unprepared for the maelstrom of a New York City campaign. The issue of her residency became more than a way to win tabloid headlines: Mr. Giuliani saw it as a way to underline voter perceptions of her as inauthentic, opportunistic and untrustworthy. When Mrs. Clinton flew to New York from Washington for a parade, Mr. Giuliani welcomed her with sarcasm. “I hope she knows the way,” he said. “I hope she doesn’t get lost on one of the side streets.”

The New York Times on how Hillary prepared for her Senate run:

Mrs. Clinton began that spring with a series of talks with advisers about what she should do now that her husband was leaving the White House. By late spring, the discussion — typically a half-dozen people gathered in the Yellow Oval Room in the second-floor family quarters of the White House — had evolved into a political tutorial on how to be a candidate, how to run in New York and how to deal with Mr. Giuliani.

Her advisers could not have been better suited to the task. Four of them had worked in tough New York campaigns, and two of those had worked in campaigns against Mr. Giuliani. (They remain the nucleus of Mrs. Clinton’s political cabinet today.)

Mandy Grunwald, Mrs. Clinton’s media adviser, was the media consultant to Ruth W. Messinger when she ran unsuccessfully for mayor against Mr. Giuliani in 1997. Mark Penn, who was Mrs. Clinton’s pollster and is today her chief strategist, advised David N. Dinkins when he defeated Mr. Giuliani in the 1989 mayor’s race.

Mr. Wolfson was communications director for Charles E. Schumer when he beat Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato in 1998. Harold Ickes, a longtime close adviser to the Clintons, has been a warrior in New York City politics for 40 years.

This group had observed Mr. Giuliani in three mayoral campaigns, and there was little disagreement about how to run against him: focus on his temperament, his identification with Republican policies and the notion that he was running for a job that did not interest him. Perhaps more significant, when viewed in the context of a potential 2008 rematch, Mrs. Clinton’s advisers suspected that the first lady, who grew up in suburban Chicago, would be a culturally more appealing candidate to rural voters than Mr. Giuliani.

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reached many of the same conclusions about her weaknesses that Mr. Giuliani’s advisers had.

So it was that Mrs. Clinton began her campaign that summer not in New York or its suburbs, but in rural Republican upstate New York, sitting down with small groups of voters. The ostensible purpose of what was called her listening tour was to defuse the criticism of her residency. But it allowed her to learn how to be a candidate and test her upstate appeal.

Democrats in 2000 acted like Turkey Lurkey and Henny Penny:

Yet her low-profile, make-no-waves campaign style worried New York Democrats as they watched Mr. Giuliani gleefully goad her from City Hall.

Those worries peaked in November, when Mrs. Clinton traveled to the West Bank city of Ramallah and sat silently as Suha Arafat, the wife of the president of the Palestinian Authority, accused Israel of deploying carcinogenic gases to control Arab protesters in Gaza and the West Bank. It took 12 hours before Mrs. Clinton rebuked Mrs. Arafat; by that point, she had been repeatedly assailed by Mr. Giuliani.

But the sky was not falling. Soon the only thing falling – because of Hillary and her Team – were Giuliani’s poll numbers:

In the weeks after her return, Mrs. Clinton and her advisers determined that they could not win the race unless they turned attention away from Mrs. Clinton and on to Mr. Giuliani: to cast him in “the angry frame,” as one described it. At every opportunity, Mrs. Clinton and her advisers suggested that Mr. Giuliani was slightly out of control, a characterization that was intended to raise doubts about Mr. Giuliani and knock him off stride.

And there were signs it was working. Mr. Giuliani suggested he was the victim of a Clinton-directed conspiracy that included pushing the Brooklyn district attorney, a Democrat, to investigate his campaign manager, Bruce Teitelbaum. “You’ve got to be living on Mars not to figure out what’s going on,” Mr. Giuliani said.

As spring arrived, Mr. Giuliani had yet to give a major speech on federal issues. He was barely campaigning upstate. Mr. Giuliani dismissed the concerns of Republican leaders, explaining that he, unlike Mrs. Clinton, had a full-time job.

Mr. Giuliani’s campaign began to falter in March. New York police officers shot and killed an unarmed black man, Patrick Dorismond, after he ran from undercover agents who asked if he had any drugs to sell. Mr. Giuliani authorized the release of Mr. Dorismond’s sealed criminal records from when he was a juvenile and went on Fox News Sunday, where he proclaimed that Mr. Dorismond was “no altar boy.” The remarks ripped across an already polarized city.

Mr. Clinton had already been scheduled to appear the next night at the Bethel A.M.E. Church in Harlem. The church was packed with cameras and reporters as Mrs. Clinton, clasping hands with prominent black leaders, walked in singing “We Shall Overcome,” before delivering a speech accusing Mr. Giuliani of dividing the city.

Mr. Giuliani headed upstate, for a Republican dinner in Binghamton. He spoke for exactly 22 minutes, stood for an eight-minute news conference, and then turned for home. Less than a week later, he abruptly canceled four upstate events because, he said, he wanted to attend the rescheduled opening game of the Yankees.

Mrs. Clinton’s campaign pounced. Overnight, aides arranged a trip for her to the cities Mr. Giuliani had snubbed and worked the telephone with upstate reporters to stoke the story.

Giuliani had been winning. Hillary turned things around:

By the time Mr. Giuliani stepped in front of the cameras to announce he was dropping out, Republicans had already concluded that the mayor would not stay in the race: indeed, many were praying he would not. His cancer seemed almost beside the point.

Evidence of his lack of interest had been building for months: the erratic campaign schedule, his treatment of upstate voters, the public way he was carrying on his relationship with Ms. Nathan. His poll numbers were sinking (a New York Times/CBS News poll taken after the Dorismond episode found Mrs. Clinton leading the mayor by 10 points statewide), and he had become a punch line on late-night talk shows.

It was a frazzled end for Mr. Giuliani’s aides, concerned about the health of a friend, bewildered by the humiliating political meltdown they were witnessing, and frustrated that all their preparation for this epic battle would be put aside and that Mrs. Clinton would be left with a relatively easy start for her solo political career.

To this day, their aides quarrel over how the race would have ended had Mr. Giuliani not withdrawn. “If he would have stayed in the race, we would have won,” Mr. Penn said. Told of that, Peter Powers, Mr. Giuliani’s longtime political adviser and close friend, responded, “We viewed her as somebody we can easily beat — not easily, but someone we could beat.”

Mr. Giuliani’s advisers said he could have overcome the collapse of his marriage, assuming he was physically well enough to stay in. But they are not sure they could have overcome another obstacle: that Mr. Giuliani was running for a job that he did not seem to want.

Should their status as their parties’ national front-runners bear up under the actual voting in the primaries, Mr. Giuliani could get the fight against Mrs. Clinton he has been spoiling for. And this time, it is for a job that he by all appearances covets. That may well be the most significant difference between the Clinton-Giuliani race that almost was and that Clinton-Giuliani race that could now be about to unfold.

The lesson for political observers in all this is that inexperienced Hillary had a strategy for beating Giuliani. Hillary and her team followed up on that strategy and pounced and took advantage of every Ripublican misstep while throwing the opposition into constant disarray. Rudy and his team comfort themselves with thoughts that they could have beaten Hillary but the truth was that Hillary had devised a successful strategy and followed up on that strategy.

This brings us to another Rudy related question.

What happens to New York’s crucial 31 electoral votes if Rudy were ever to get the Ripublican nomination? Giuliani knows his toughest opponent is Hillary which is why he is already paying for ads against Hillary. Only California (55) and Texas(34) have more electoral votes than New York.

New York is not just any state. New York is ESSENTIAL to any Democratic victory [See electoral vote map HERE].

The Quinnipiac poll on October 3, 2007 had Hillary beating Giuliani by 11 points (52% to 41%). Obama however merely ties with Giuliani at 45%-45%. Democrats cannot afford to lose New York in a general election.

SurveyUSA’s New York poll on November 28, 2007 has Hillary beating Giuliani 56% to 37%. Obama once again merely ties Giuliani 46% to 46%.

We can’t lose New York.

Hillary beats Rudy.


79 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton Vs. Rudy Giuliani

  1. Thanks admin, I have been using the electoral importance of New York and obama & edwards losing those votes against giuliani for a while now, as much as possible.

  2. Good job admin,
    It looks like we are on the right track now. The campaign is going to be b/n Democrats and Republicans. That is, b/n Hillary Clinton and who ever qualifies from the other side. No more in house arguments.

  3. glad to see posters focusing their talents targeting non-political social forums in iowa, ie; agricultural, gay, etc. nothing like drawing a bead on individual groups and raising awareness regarding BO-bs.

    in NH, i will continue working the neighborhoods and have signed on as a ward captain to help manage the push 01/04 – 01/08.

    btw, i am energized once again after listening to the eight dinosaurs last night. same old crap; NRA, phony-family-values, what would jesus do, blah, blah, blah.. our girl has nothing to fear.

  4. hillfan’s, while listening to sean hannity’s show(i know, a hillary hater for sure) rassmussen was on his show announcing new polling in the field in iowa due out thursday. stay tuned. btw, i listen to hannity becuase when hillary wins this thing i get to listen to hannity and his right wing callers shriel in horror for 8 years.lol.

  5. Hey, Alcina!

    Good luck! You can make the big difference if Celiff doesn’t nail IA. (I have complete faith in your abilities, Celiff, but we do need a backup and Alcina will give us that)

    I will, of couirse, be your backstop in NV. We have no problem here with Hillary enthusiasm — just a bit of a job explaining to Nevadans that you can’t vote for Hillary if you don’t go to the caucuses. Clearly, since this is the first time that the primaries have meant anything, they are a tad confused.

    At any rate, the GE matchup results should be widely advertised.

    Looking at Clinton and Obama against Giuliani who is usually the best Rep against Dems:

    KY: Clinton 48-44 Giuliani
    Obama 38-52 Giuliani

    OH: Clinton 49-44 Giuliani
    Obama 41-49 Giuliani

    TN: Clinton 43-43 Giuliani
    Obama 36-44 Giuliani

    NM: Clinton 48-44 Giuliani
    Obama 41-49 Giuliani

    And so on. The key here is Ohio. It’s one Dems cannot lose. There isn’t a doubt that in the Rep states of VA, Tenn, KY, etc. Clinton is the far stronger candidate. And this is before the Rep demonizing begins.

  6. freckles,

    That is one of the beautiful things about Hillary. She turns Southern, conservative red states purple! Therefore, making any GOP candidate spend money in “safe” states, which will draw funds away from ‘battle ground’ states!

    I have a feeling that happy days will soon be here again!

  7. Hillary’s campaign today announced the endorsement of Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

    “Hillary Clinton has the strength and experience to bring the war in Iraq to an end and reverse the potentially devastating effects of global warming,” Kennedy said. “I watched proudly as Hillary won over New Yorkers across the state in her race for the Senate seat my father once held. Since then, she’s been reelected in a landslide victory and proven that she is ready to lead this nation from her first day in office. Hillary will inspire the real change America needs.”

    “Bobby has worked tirelessly to protect our environment and raise awareness about the dangers of global warming and pollution,” Hillary said. “I’m deeply honored to have his support and counsel.”

    Kennedy serves as Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and President of Waterkeeper Alliance. He is also a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at Pace University School of Law’s Environmental Litigation Clinic and is co-host of Ring of Fire on Air America Radio. Earlier in his career he served as Assistant District Attorney in New York City.

    In recognition of his environmental efforts, Time Magazine named him one of its “Heroes for the Planet” for his success leading the fight to restore the Hudson River.

  8. That is good news, mj. Both RFK Jr. and his sister have endorsed Hillary. So much for Edwards claiming he is the next RFK. Hopefully, caroline kennedy will also endorse Hillary. That will be a blow to BO, who claims himself to be the next JFK.

  9. Reed, I agree with you.

    If Iowans or NHers come to believe the truth that Obama is not an electable messiah, they will nominate Hillary.

    She’s strong in the South which is driving Republicans wild. And she’s making strides in the West.

    My guess is that Hillary would win a lot of Bush states and Obama would lose quite a few Gore-Kerry states.

  10. If Obama can’t break through in Iowa in the next two weeks with media’s heavylifting, I predict he will fade away in the final week… This is all about physics. Right now, Clinton is facing heavy pounding in Iowa, if she can withstand it, the huge undecides will go with her and Edwards in the end.

  11. I am also providing the previous rasmussen polls here just to give the trend.

    Hillary: 27 (29)
    Obama: 25 (24)
    Edwards: 24 (25)

  12. ra1029: Thanks for the poll. In other words, it’s statistically the same race every other poll has showed. The WaPo margin of error included this result, but this result shows the slight edge to Hillary that every other poll has shown. If the results were these on caucus night, it would be a death knell for Obama and Edwards, but switch Hillary’s number with Obama, and she almost certainly will take New Hampshire five days later.

  13. At this point with the polls showing a close race, anything could happen on election night. It is impossible to predict who is going to win because there will be so many dynamics in play like:

    1. How many people actually turn out on caucus night?

    2. How uniformly distributed across Iowa is their support?

    3. How is the weather in different regions across Iowa? Bad weather in one area could depress turnout in one area and adversely affect the candidate who is popular there.

    4. Are Edwards and Obama supporters uniformly distributed across Iowa to cross the minimum threshold? Otherwise, they will have to switch to other candidate. The same is the case with Hillary. What about supporters of other candidates? Whom will their 2nd choice be?

    With polls so close, and so many variables at play, I would not put Iowa in anyone’s column right now, the way the media is doing it for Obama.

  14. I am not an american, but I love this site and I love the Clintons, especially Hillary, a woman who has power, strength and passion to give USA a new face and a new brain that our world most fervent wishes.

    I respect Obama, but I am convinced he is not yet ready for America at this stage. He needs more experience and more brain, something that Hillary already has in abundance.

    One doesn’t need a college education to note that; only selfish people, bigots and backward individuals can afford to hate Hillary, the so called Ripublicans like Giullani, Karl Rove and Co.

    I am crossing my finger for Hillary to beat Obama thoroughly in the primaries and then finish the job by smashing whoever will survive the Ripublican’s primaries. God bless Hillary, God bless America and God bless this site.

  15. ra1029,

    I think IA poll will change dramatically in the final week of this race. I studied a bunch of IA polls six weeks before caucus night in 2004. The dramatic change in #s is not due to the changing opinions of Howard Dean/Gephardt, but due to the large, large number of undecides in Iowa.

    Iowa is very quirky, and people do make their decisions very late. I think most pollsters are completely missing the ball. When they phone IA voters at this stage, many simply wouldn’t bother to opinion to pollsters since they are truly undecided between 2 or 3 candidates. Some research is showing up to 40% are undecided. The current poll can’t capture these folks since only those decideds answer the poll.

    I believe that’s what killed Howard Dean and Gephardt. Dean’s support among ‘decided’ did not waver much, but it’s those late-breakers killed him.

    From some limited conversation I had with a few Iowans, almost all of them told me they were still undecided. I just don’t feel the enthusiasm about Obama at all. Edwards, on the contrary, seems to fare pretty well. I have a feeling many are pondering between Edwards and Clinton.

    I think Edwards’ national ‘viability’ is holding him back in Iowa. But the latest Rasmussen #s do bode well for him. The internals are also not bad for Clinton.

    In terms of second-choices in Iowa, John Edwards tops the list of candidates. He is the second choice for 28% of likely caucus participants. Obama is the second choice for 18%, Clinton for 16%, and Richardson for 15.

    Currently, in Iowa, Clinton attracts 30% of the vote from women while Obama earns 26% and Edwards 22%. Among men, it’s Edwards 26%, Clinton 24%, and Obama 23% (see crosstabs).

  16. I love the way the media is playing it. If Hillary loses, it was expected, and Iowa was always a hard nut for her to crack. If Obama wins, it was expect, but if he loses, well, he certainly loses.

  17. dcdemocrat,

    you’re absolutely right. The expectation game has competely changed. The Intra market is now showing Obama’s odds of winning IA are 55% vs. 45% of Clinton.

    If Obama did have some ‘MO’ since the heavylifting by MSM on that ABC News poll, I feel he’s ‘peaked’ too soon.

    I’m actually more confident about Clinton’s chance than ever…

  18. The way I look at BO comparing himself to all these greats – jkf, rfk, mlk, reagan, etc etc:

    He is so insecure in his own self that he has to compare himself to others…..see he cannot be himself!

    So he wears this “greatness mask of others” as a protection to hide his insecurities. That is how he appeared on SNL…as an insecured performer!

    He has to perform! he cannot be himself – because he does not know who he is and what he really stands for or against.

  19. Good morning. Been updating SW article on BO’s Hopefund stuff as I want to get a PR Watch teaser in the cycle by tomorrow morning.

    That’s great news on RFK Jr. He has a radio program (“Ring of Fire”) that airs on Air America and elsewhere. Free radio promo is a really good thing.

  20. Kostner: The other element of this Iowa thing is if Edwards wins. I think it does nothing for him. It would be like George Bush the Elder winning Iowa in 1980 and Reagan winning New Hampshire, except in this case, Edwards in no case will be Hillary’s VP. I will go to the bank on that one. We already have seen what a phenomenally terrible VP candidate he is.

  21. DCDemocrat,

    I actually wouldn’t mind Edwards winning this thing. The media hate him, and this will immediately steal the the coronation of MSM from Obama. If Obama finishes 2nd and Clinton 3rd bunched together, it’s a 3 way into NH, and nothing will change. Hillary will then win NH.

    If Clinton finishes 2rd, Obama is finished.

    Long time ago, I was actually rooting for this scenario:

    Edwards 1st
    Clinton 2nd
    Obama 3rd.

    The danger is to come down to a Clinton-Obama one on one since media will help him do the heavylifting.

  22. Thursday, November 29, 2007

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows Hillary Clinton slipping below the 40% level of support for just the second time since late September. At 38%, Clinton’s support hasn’t been lower since September 22. As with all tracking poll data, it remains to be seen whether this reflects a lasting change or is merely a temporary aberration.

    Barack Obama now earns support from 24% of Likely Democratic Primary Voters nationwide. His support has generally remained in the low-to-mid twenties, although it dipped dramatically during Thanksgiving week. John Edwards is the choice for 13%, Joe Biden is preferred by 4% and no other Democratic candidate tops 3% (see recent daily numbers).

    In Iowa, new Rasmussen Reports polling data released today shows that the race remains far too close to call. Clinton, Obama, and Edwards are within three points of each other. Clinton has a ten-point lead over Obama in both New Hampshire and South Carolina. She also retains a twenty-five point lead over Obama in Florida. See all Rasmussen Reports general election match-ups and other key stats for all Democratic candidates.

    In the race for the Republican Presidential Nomination, Rudy Giuliani continues to lead nationwide with 27% support. Mitt Romney and John McCain each attract 14% support, Mike Huckabee is the choice for 12%, and Fred Thompson is clinging to double digits at 10%. Ron Paul’s attracts 4% of Likely Republican Primary voters nationwide and no other Republican candidate reaches 2% (see recent daily numbers).

    Results for the Presidential Tracking Poll are obtained through nightly telephone interviews and reported on a four-day rolling average basis. Nearly all of the interviews for today’s update were conducted before the end of last night’s Republican debate. Additionally, Rasmussen Reports did not conduct survey interviews over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. As a result, roughly three-quarters of the interviews for today’s update were completed this week and the rest were completed before Thanksgiving. Friday will be the first update based entirely on interviews conducted following the holiday weekend.


  23. Realist:

    It was bound to happen with the constant barrage of press attacks on her. Lets see. There is still a good month to go.

  24. These are all statistical blips is my bet. Hillary, in real life, probably is about 40-45, Obama is 20-25, and Edwards is 11-16. I doubt we can get any more exact than that.

    I will predict, though, that were Obama to get the nod in some surreal world, he would lose us the presidency in November.

  25. DCDemocrat,

    It’s just statstical blip whether Obama is down to 17, 18 or Clinton is down to 38, 37…
    We all use this as propaganda tool…

  26. I am surprised the market predicts an Obama win. Markets are better indicators than polls. Does anyone know what the market looked like for Kerry in Iowa.

  27. Per Politico, this is strange:

    Doug Wilder corrects

    Not entirely sure what to make of this press release from Richmond Mayor, and former Virginia Governor Doug Wilder, whose comments to Politico about Obama quite a while ago sure sounded like support:

    A report by Jet magazine (November 26, 2007) stating that I have endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for president is incorrect. While I have said kind things about the senator, I have made no endorsement of any candidate at this time.

    Just so that’s clear.

  28. Here’s a nugget for those of you in Iowa. BO stole Hillary’s thunder at the VFW Convention by announcing his endorsement by Iraq War vet Penn. Rep. Patrick Murphy. What the media failed to mention (well, who’d expect BO to be honest?) was the fact that BO had gave Patrick Hopefund money three times in 2006 and as well as 6/15/07 before the convention 8/22/07.

    Additionally, in October 2006, Patrick Murphy received six “in-kind travel” contributions of $1,221 each ($7,326 total) from Midlantic Jet Aviation on behalf of Hopefund.


  29. I think he is setting himself for endorsing BO once more to get some more news going for BO. He might say that he never endorsed him so far and is only endorsing him now. I am pretty sure he campaigned for BO in summer and I remember reading it as an endorsement.

  30. mj,

    I really believe we need to stop worrying about those daily fluctuation of all sorts of polls in the final month… Just assume we’re going to lose Iowa, at least that’s my assumption at this point of time…

    This is no dinner party in a political campaign, it is going to get hot… Be confident… Look at the entire picture…

    Your anxiety and nitpicking on everything can really get on my nerves from time to time…

  31. Hey, Kostner: I am a social scientist by trade. In school, they made me take statistics. I just muddled through basic and intermediate stats; I took the classes Credit/No Credit (which means I got at least a B). In short, I am not a statistician, but I can talk with one. I know plenty enough to understand the way we use polls on the blogs is scientific gibberish, but I concur they make great propaganda. It’s funny about Ras-Iowa today at dkos: they refused to look at trend lines on the WaPo poll, but they’re dissecting this one with trend lines.

  32. DCDemocrat,

    Obama has very little ‘MO’ in Iowa despite the heavylifting from media. Look at Huckabee’s #s in the same Rasmussen poll, you’ll get the picture. Huckabee jumped 12 points in two weeks…

    If Obama can’t break the wall in the next two weeks, he is in a big hole. His support in Iowa is very uneven, and that’s going to be a killer just as Dean’s fatal finisher due to Iowa’s quirky system.

  33. This is why Hillary keeps on pounding O-bomb and won’t let up…

    Per Rasmussen’s IA poll:
    Among Democrats who name Iraq as the top voting issue, 28% support Obama, 25% Clinton, and 23% Edwards. For those who name the economy as the top issue, it’s Clinton 30%, Edwards 27%, and Obama 21%. For those who said health care is the number one issue, 38% prefer Clinton, 22% Edwards, and 19% Obama.

  34. Good to know, Kost. I also think some of the Republican/Indies who started out maybe supporting Obama in Iowa are going to end up with Huckabee. I think Huck will win Iowa, he probably won’t win NH, but those indies there might vote for him if he has momentum. I can’t think of a worse match up in a GE for the Dem’s than Huckabee v. Obama. Obama’s religious pandering will do him no good against Huck, Huck also has executive experience, moderate policies, and is an actual outsider as opposed to a sitting senator who says he is an outsider.

  35. DCDemocrat:

    Don’t be bothered by how readers at dailykos interpret polls. Just becuase they all follow the herd mentality does not mean it is the truth. This is actually good news. The expectations are set low. Obama is supposed to win thing. That should be good enough for Clinton campaign to mobilize all their troops as much as they can.

    Edwards is pretty much useless at this point. There are no more national debates, I believe. Only a couple of IA and NH debates. The only harm he can do is attack Clinton and try to drag her into mud with him. He will not be the nominee even if he wins Iowa.

  36. RFK endorsement is huge in terms of his name, his vision for the country, and his intergenerational appeal. This will resonate with democrats and independents alike.

    From the sublime to the ridiculous. I see Barry is now claiming that would hire Bill. He must think Bill is unemployed. Some media partisan will undoubltedly pitch the queston to Bill.

    In that case, Bill could praise Hillary, decline to answer a hypothetical question which is that remote, describe his curent job and let the voters make their own assessment.

  37. Doug Wilder specifically stated that he was not endorsing Obama in Aug but planned to endorse (someone) in the future. I just looked it up — his specific statement that his positive Obama statements were not a formal endorsement is in an 8-07 politico article.

    Wilder has a huge ego and always waits until the last minute to endorse — much to the frustration of Webb Democrats in VA last year. He loves the drama. I consider him a de facto Obama supporter unless he states otherwise but won’t be holding my breath.

  38. HLR:

    I am with you. I consider him pretty much a Obama supporter. No surprises there since he already campaigned with him. He might make that formal announcement once more pretty soon.

  39. Right wingers are laying groundwork to gut Obama like a bug in general election should unexpected happens in democratic party’s nomination battle. This Washington Post story further comfirms the first storyline they’ll plant. This is typical GOP playbook. They will dismiss Obama as an unpatriotic and secretive muslism as a first step to solidify their base against voting for him under any circumstances. Then this sentiment will spread across to independents with GOP leaning like fire.

    I talked to an Iowa who’s leaning towards GOP last night online. His first comment on Obama was that he’s a muslism.

    Unfortunately, Obama really helped his enemy by refusing to wear flag pins, refusing to put his hand over hearts… This serves as a seamless storyline and puts him on defense. It’s just bizarre he has to ask some people to sign a letter to prove his patriotism…

    WoP article…

    Foes Use Obama’s Muslim Ties to Fuel Rumors About Him

    In his speeches and often on the Internet, the part of Sen. Barack Obama’s biography that gets the most attention is not his race but his connections to the Muslim world.

    Since declaring his candidacy for president in February, Obama, a member of a congregation of the United Church of Christ in Chicago, has had to address assertions that he is a Muslim or that he had received training in Islam in Indonesia, where he lived from ages 6 to 10. While his father was an atheist and his mother did not practice religion, Obama’s stepfather did occasionally attend services at a mosque there.

    Despite his denials, rumors and e-mails circulating on the Internet continue to allege that Obama (D-Ill.) is a Muslim, a “Muslim plant” in a conspiracy against America, and that, if elected president, he would take the oath of office using a Koran, rather than a Bible, as did Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), the only Muslim in Congress, when he was sworn in earlier this year.

    In campaign appearances, Obama regularly mentions his time living and attending school in Indonesia, and the fact that his paternal grandfather, a Kenyan farmer, was a Muslim. Obama invokes these facts as part of his case that he is prepared to handle foreign policy, despite having been in the Senate for only three years, and that he would literally bring a new face to parts of the world where the United States is not popular.

    The son of a white woman from Kansas and a black man from Kenya, Obama was born and spent much of his childhood in Hawaii, and he talks more about his multicultural background than he does about the possibility of being the first African American president, in marked contrast to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), who mentions in most of her stump speeches the prospect of her becoming the first woman to serve as president.

    “A lot of my knowledge about foreign affairs is not what I just studied in school. It’s actually having the knowledge of how ordinary people in these other countries live,” he said earlier this month in Clarion, Iowa.

    The day I’m inaugurated, I think this country looks at itself differently, but the world also looks at America differently,” he told another Iowa crowd. “Because I’ve got a grandmother who lives in a little village in Africa without running water or electricity; because I grew up for part of my formative years in Southeast Asia in the largest Muslim country on Earth.”

    While considerable attention during the campaign has focused on the anti-Mormon feelings aroused by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney (R), polls have also shown rising hostility toward Muslims in politics. It is not clear whether that negative sentiment will affect someone who has lived in a Muslim country but does not practice Islam.

    In an August poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 45 percent of respondents said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate for any office who is Muslim, compared with 25 percent who said that about a Mormon candidate and with 16 percent who said the same for someone who is an evangelical Christian.

    In Ellison’s case, much of the controversy focused on his decision to take his oath of office with a Koran, one owned by Thomas Jefferson.

    “It’s good for America to have a president who has diversity at many levels in his background. That would be a benefit in reaching out to the rest of the world, particularly the Islamic world,” said Ibrahim Hooper, communications director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group for Muslims. “But that kind of thing provides talking points for political detractors.”

    Obama aides sharply disputed the initial stories suggesting that he was a Muslim, and in Iowa, the campaign keeps a letter at its offices, signed by five members of the local clergy, vouching for the candidate’s Christian faith. Aware that his religious belief remains an issue, Obama has denied a separate charge: that he does not hold his hand to his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance. This rumor stemmed from a photo that was taken while the national anthem was being played.

    “If I were a Muslim, I would let you know, ” he said in Dubuque, Iowa, recently, according to CNN.com. “But I’m a member of Trinity United Church of Christ on 95th Street on the South Side of Chicago. We’ve got the best choir in town, and if you want to come and worship with us, you are more than welcome.”

    In the past few months, Obama has actively touted his Christianity, particularly in South Carolina, where his campaign hosted a gospel tour to appeal to black voters. He describes his movement from a “reluctant skeptic” to a believer during his 20s while he was working with black churches in Chicago as a community organizer. The title of his second book, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream,” comes from a sermon by the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr., pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ.

    An early rumor about Obama’s faith came from Insight, a conservative online magazine. The Insight article said Obama had “spent at least four years in a so-called madrassa, or Muslim seminary, in Indonesia.” It attributed this detail to background information the Clinton campaign had been collecting.

    After Obama denied the rumor, Jeffrey Kuhner, Insight’s editor, said Obama’s “concealment and deception was to be the issue, not so much his Muslim heritage,” and he suggested that the source of the madrassa rumor was the Clinton campaign. The Clinton campaign denied the charge.

    Human Events, another conservative magazine, published on its Web site a package of articles called “Barack Obama Exposed.” One of them was titled “The First Muslim President?”

    Robert Spencer, a conservative activist, wrote in Human Events that “given Obama’s politics, it will not be hard to present him internationally as someone who understands Islam and Muslims, and thus will be able to smooth over the hostility between the Islamic world and the West — our first Muslim President.”

    Conservative talk-show hosts have occasionally repeated the rumor, with Michael Savage noting Obama’s “background” in a “Muslim madrassa in Indonesia” in June, and Rush Limbaugh saying in September that he occasionally got “confused” between Obama and Osama bin Laden. Others repeatedly use the senator’s middle name, Hussein.

    The rumors about Obama have been echoed on Internet message boards and chain e-mails.

    Bryan Keelin of Charleston, S.C., who works with an organization of churches there, posted on an Internet board his suspicion that Obama is a Muslim. “I assume his father instructed him on the ways of being a Muslim,” said Keelin, who described himself in an interview as a conservative Republican who will vote for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee.

    “The Muslims have said they plan on destroying the U.S. from the inside out,” says one of the e-mails that was posted recently on a blog at BarackObama.com, the campaign’s Web site, by an Obama supporter who warned of an attempt to “Swift Boat” the candidate. “What better way to start than at the highest level, through the President of the United States, one of their own!”

    Another e-mail, on a site called Snopes.com that tracks Internet rumors, starts, “Be careful, be very careful.” It notes that “Obama takes great care to conceal the fact that he is a Muslim,” and that “since it is politically expedient to be a Christian when you are seeking political office in the United States, Obama joined the United Church of Christ to help purge any notion that he is still a Muslim.”

    A CBS News poll in August showed that a huge number of voters said they did not know Obama’s faith, but among those who said they did, 7 percent thought he was a Muslim, while only 6 percent thought he was a Protestant Christian .

    “The underlying point is that if you can somehow pin Islam on him, that would be a fatal blow,” Hooper said. “It’s offensive. It speaks to the rising level of anti-Muslim feeling in our society.”

    Obama’s advisers say they are not worried that the candidate will hurt his campaign by invoking his connections to the Islamic world. “He understands that there are scurrilous attack e-mails going on underground that distort his religious affiliation and worse, but his judgment is that he trusts the American people more than that,” said David Axelrod, a top Obama strategist. “He genuinely believes. . . . that people want to have a president that the world looks at and says, ‘I believe this guy has an understanding of us and how we fit together on the planet.’ “

  40. Hillary had nothing to do with those rumors, and the fact that WaPo includes that smear, probably to even out a negative story about Obama, is bs.

  41. Re. Kosters diary at 1219 is exactly how it would play out if Obama were ever to become the candidate.

    Behind the smoke and mirrors of the Obama candidacy is a trap which Democrats and Independents alike must not fall into, unless they want to 4 more years of disatrous Rip rule.

  42. freckles or anybody :

    can you provide the links to those GE matchups. I intend to post on a non-political forum. thanks.

  43. Ok, there is a poll on kos for who do you support. I wonder if Hill will break double digits. That is some parallel universe over there.

  44. Boston Globe analyzed yesterday’s NH poll a bit. Here’s the tidbits …

    Ah, Clinton. With nearly half of all respondents in both parties saying they could still change their minds, she still could be caught. But don’t bet on it. If there is what pollster David Paleologos calls “a typical New Hampshire turnout mix” – heavier voting by registered Democrats, middle-age and older citizens, and women – she should hold (or build on) her current lead, at 34 percent to 22 percent for Barack Obama and 15 percent for John Edwards. Hillary easily topped all those categories, Paleologos said

  45. November 29, 2007
    Hillary is Still the Strong Favorite
    By Steven Stark

    With roughly a month to go until the nominating process actually begins in Iowa, the contours of the 2008 presidential race are now clear. On the Democratic side, the nomination is still Hillary Clinton’s to lose. And on the Republican side, which we’ll review in depth next week, there are still, incredibly, five candidates with a legitimate chance to gain the GOP nod.

    Because the mainstream press focuses on the day-to-day machinations of the campaign — a process exacerbated by the rise of Internet coverage, which takes every minute-by-minute development and blows it up out of proportion — it’s often difficult to get a sense of the big picture.

    But each race has now assumed a discernible story line. For any of the Democrats not named Clinton, the key is to beat her in Iowa, lest they see their chances for an upset slip away. Sure, the nomination likely won’t be decided until February 5, when more than 20 states hold their contests. But if Clinton’s challengers can’t beat her in Iowa on January 3, they’re unlikely to win in the other key Democratic tests before Super Tuesday — namely New Hampshire on January 8 and South Carolina on January 26. The race, then, will be over almost before it started.

    Choose your degree…

    (Michigan will also hold a primary on January 15, but the DNC declared the state to be in violation of the rules on the ordering of primaries, so most of the Democratic contenders have asked to have their names removed from the ballot. As a result, the press is unlikely to cover it extensively. The Nevada caucus on January 19 is also likely to receive little coverage, since caucuses, which require voters to meet at a designated spot and time to declare their preference publicly, tend to attract fewer voters than primaries. Plus, South Carolina Republicans are holding their primary the same day, so that’s bound to steal some headlines from Nevada.)

    Hillary’s heels

    Clinton currently holds about a 20-point lead in most national polls, which should give her some security. After all, one has to go back to 1972, when George McGovern bested early leader Edmund Muskie, to find a race in which a front-runner blew such a large lead going into the primaries. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen again. But it does mean, despite Clinton’s well-publicized recent travails — specifically her sub-par debate performance in late October and some narrowing opinion polls in Iowa and New Hampshire — that it’s unlikely.

    Clinton does, however, have two Achilles’ heels. The first is that an unusually large number of voters just don’t like her, raising the possibility that, if an opponent could galvanize all the anti-Clinton voters on his behalf, he might have a chance of upsetting her.

    The second is that, if she had to rank all 50 states in which she’d like to be tested first, Clinton would probably put Iowa last. There’s a bit of a culture clash between New York, Clinton’s designated home, and Iowa — which is one reason Rudy Giuliani has, by and large, stayed away from the Hawkeye State. Clinton’s husband didn’t even run there in 1992, conceding Iowa to favorite son Tom Harkin, so she has had to build her organization from scratch. And Barack Obama is a senator from a neighboring state, which, on paper at least, should be a huge advantage — even though the press seldom mentions it. (Although Clinton grew up in Illinois, it’s not the same as representing it in an elected national body.)

    Most important, Iowa is not a primary contest but a caucus state, so level of participation is far lower than in an ordinary primary. That’s bad news for Clinton, since her voters tend to be poorer than Obama’s more upper-middle-class constituency and, historically, poorer voters don’t vote in as great numbers. All things being equal, her voters in Iowa are simply less likely to turn out.

    In truth, however, should Clinton lose that state, it’s not at all clear that she would then go on to lose New Hampshire five days later. There’s a long history of candidates losing Iowa and coming back to win New Hampshire — such as Ronald Reagan against George Bush the elder in 1980.

    And New Hampshire is, after all, a primary state where Clinton should do better — though the participation of independents in that Democratic primary could skew that, since she polls better among registered Democrats.

    But as long as Clinton wins New Hampshire, she is likely to remain the front-runner and go on to win South Carolina on January 26 and wrap up the nomination on Super Tuesday 10 days later. Conversely, both Obama and John Edwards must finish ahead of Clinton in Iowa to remain viable. And they probably have to win one of the other two big January contests, too, in order to seriously challenge the front-runner. Again, it’s not impossible. But it won’t be easy.


  46. So I voted at Kos-to see that Hillary is in a tough fight with Dodd and Kucinich for the lower-tier lead. WTF do any of you bother with a site that has absolutely no basis in reality and little influence anywhere outside it’s own incestuous borders?

  47. stay of Kos as much as possible. And HuffPo too. Resist the temptation and believe me, your day will go better. Theres just so much anti Hillary vitriol out there that its just sickening. At first I thought that it was primary season so candidate diaries are to be expected but the way they come up and invent ways to attack her is just ridiculous. There are still a couple of bloggers that I miss reading (non-political ) but I read a comment yesterday somewhere on some blog (hat tip to whoever he/she is) that put it so well when it came to Kos : “I am not going to wade through a sewer to pick a few cherries” !

  48. Daily Kos was somethin’ back in the day. I hold out hope that it will be something hereafter. But if it doesn’t embrace Hillary once she is the nominee, I am out of there.

    There are a lot of people who fearlessly soldier in the face of a great deal of vitriol. Any support you can provide is deeply appreciated!

  49. New Hillary ad

    CLINTON: “You know we have big economic problems ahead. The price of oil is going way up; the price of our homes is going down. The middle class is getting slammed.”

    ANNOUNCER: If you want a strong economy, we need a strong President.

    CLINTON: “I’ll start by taking away those tax breaks that the administration has lavished on big corporations and give you a break instead. I’ll create new jobs as we push for alternative energies and I’ll cut the deficit. A lot of people talk about America’s problems, but the next President has to be ready to solve them on day one.”

    “I’m Hillary Clinton and I approved this message.”

  50. anyone who engages those haters deserves to be admired. So DC, more power to you if can do it ! And Alegre is one of those rare people who perseveres come what may , God bless her .. My only concern is that with so much hate on that site, I have a hard time believing that those folks will come around when she gets the nomination. Exit Bush, enter Hillary, the new enemy. the funny thing is they keep deluding themselves with their exaggerated sense of self importance.

  51. The Hillary supporters at Democratic Underground could use some reinforcements too.

    DU usually appears to be much more rational than DailyKooks. HeadKook’s waitress tip story was the last straw for what is an increasingly malodorous sewer.

    MyDD has improved significantly at least in that there are now Hillary supporters, in sufficient numbers, who are not only intellectually superior to opponents but also fight back and are not intimidated.

    DK is HillaryHate central due to the self-interests of the owner.

    DU there is still lots of hope for. There are a lot of good strong Hillary supporters there but they could use an uptick in numbers.

  52. Politico has a Hunter College survey on GLBT voters. The numbers in Iowa for Hillary will go higher once the McClurkin story is provided to inform GLBT voters:

    “Also, Hunter College has what it’s touting as the “first public, political survey ever conducted by a university-based team of scholars with a nationally representative sample of lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGBs) Americans.”

    It finds that “Clinton has the support of 63 percent of LGB likely voters in the Democratic primaries, followed by Senator Barack Obama with 22 percent and John Edwards with 7 percent.””

    The Hunter College survey:

  53. admin, I just had to laugh when I read “headkook” … yeah, it fits him pretty well. After the waitress tip story, I dont wish to give headkook any importance by visiting his site. he’s mad because Hillary hasnt stooped to kiss his ring. she has better things to do , imo !

  54. Here’s eriposte on JE – “Sen. Edwards Says: ‘Sign a ‘Pledge’ and Send me Your Brain’; I Say: ‘No Thanks’ (‘The Left Coaster”, November 29, 2007).


  55. Hillary needs to pound on an END to the Iraq War! That is the primary concern of Iowans. Whoever can deliver that message with determination, sincerely with a great deal of resolve (backed by a plan) Will WIN IOWA.. (w/o smiling in the ad)

    Health Care and the Economy are secondary issues to Iowans.

    Please do this and watch her numbers rise over the TOP!

    Mrs. S.

    Thanks, Admin for the DU info..

  56. Mrs. Smith, whatever the problems with DU and Hillary haters they do not compare to Dailykooks.

    On DU there are a lot of people who do not support Hillary but they are not being organized and goaded by the administrators.

    On DailyKooks there is a self-interested owner and a gang of enforcers that oppose Hillary for their own self-interested reasons.

  57. David Yepsen is touted by many as THE Iowa expert. We have always disagreed. Yepsen is a Big Media Party power in Iowa but he is not an Iowa expert.

    Proof of Yepsen’s not very good analysis came today with his “analysis” of the Ripublican debate. Yepsen wrote “There were three clear winners” McCain, Huckabee, and Thompson”. No one but Yepsen thinks such a ridiculous thing. Huckabee did well but Thompson and McCain were clear losers.


  58. More good news…

    ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (CNN) — It appears that a majority of Florida Democrats want Hillary Clinton to be their party’s presidential nominee.

    Fifty-one percent of likely Democratic Florida primary voters support the New York senator in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll out Thursday.

    That’s 30 points ahead of her nearest rival in the Sunshine State, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois.

    “Hillary Clinton has a big lead in Florida, but there is evidence that the race may change dramatically in the Sunshine State after Iowa and New Hampshire have their say,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “If the election were held today, Clinton would get support from 51% of Democratic likely voters, to 21% for Obama and 11% for Edwards.”

  59. “In the course of three tumultuous weeks, Mr. Giuliani had been told by doctors that he had prostate cancer.”

    Rudy was diagnosed far earlier, he just used that as his excuse to run from the Senate race with Hillary as an opponent.

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