TO: TEAM RUDY
FROM: BRENT SEABORN, STRATEGY DIRECTOR
RE: 4th QUARTER KICKOFF
DATE: OCTOBER 2, 2007
REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FIELD
The fourth quarter of 2007 will accelerate the Republican nomination process and begin to sort the race out even more.
Mayor Giuliani continues to lead all major media polls. A recent Pew Report poll1 reports Mayor Giuliani’s percentage of the ballot share has increased 5 points from the previous Pew survey conducted in July2. The most recent Pew survey also reports Mayor Giuliani leading the important Republican candidate attribute categories of "tough", "energetic" and "smart", among a handful of others3. A recent FOX News poll4 reports Mayor Giuliani’s ballot support has increased 5 points from the previous FOX News poll conducted in August5.
In addition to national polling, Mayor Giuliani is favorably positioned in a number of early and February 5 primary states. The Mayor leads nearly all Florida primary polls with a 2007 average of 30%, followed by Thompson 17%, McCain 14% and Romney 9%. Mayor Giuliani is consistently in 1st or 2nd place in South Carolina public polling, essentially in a dead heat with former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson. In addition, the Mayor is running strong in Iowa, solidly in second place and starting to close the gap behind Governor Romney. Romney was enjoying a clear advantage in New Hampshire in mid-summer. However, Mayor Giuliani is now within a point or two of the first place spot in New Hampshire, with a recent NH poll reporting the Mayor and Romney in a statistical tie for the top spot6. Beyond the early states, Mayor Giuliani is the frontrunner in delegate-rich February 5 states such as California, Illinois, New Jersey and New York.
As it stands today, Senator McCain’s support in national public polling has recovered somewhat. His national average has increased about 5 points from his summer low of about 10% according to the Real Clear Politics average. Still, it seems that McCain is capped at approximately 18% or 19% of Republican primary vote share as the field now stands.
Voters responded to Fred Thompson’s September entry into the GOP Primary
race with a smaller-than-expected announcement bounce. Typically an announcement
will generate about a 10 point bounce. Senator Thompson’s bounce ranged
from zero points to 8 points, but averaged less than 4 points — certainly
not what was expected for a campaign that spent so much time preparing
to get in the race.
|DATE||THOMPSON||+/- FROM PREVIOUS POLL||SURVEY|
|9/7-9/10||26||+6||NBC/Wall Street Journal|
|9/4-9/9||22||+4||CBS/New York Times|
|9/7-9/8||22||+3||USA Today/Gallup Poll|
|9/4-9/7||19||+5||ABC News/Washington Post|
Mitt Romney’s campaign spent more than $30 million during the first 2 quarters of 2007 and outspent others by $9 million or more. Nationally, the Romney campaign has spent $8 million on television and radio advertisements. And Romney’s Iowa Straw Poll victory had a likely price tag of more than $4 million. Romney’s campaign has spent nearly $2 million on television in New Hampshire and more than $1 million in South Carolina and Florida. In the 3rd quarter of 2007 alone, Governor Romney will have put more than $5 million of ads on the air.
In late August, Governor Romney enjoyed nearly a 20 point advantage in Iowa; over the past month his lead over Mayor Giuliani has narrowed to an average of 10 points. Late July and early August polling in New Hampshire reported Romney leading Mayor Giuliani by about 14 points. His New Hampshire advantage has now narrowed to an average of only 4 points.
Over the course of 2007, Romney has averaged only 11% in South Carolina. The Romney campaign is preparing to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on television in South Carolina — we will have to see if South Carolinians are receptive to his message.
Michigan, one of Mitt Romney’s home states, has recently moved their primary to mid-January. One recent public poll reports Mayor Giuliani leading the GOP field with a 14 point advantage7, though others show a statistical dead heat.
Senator McCain’s resurgence has reshaped the race in Florida somewhat; he and Governor Romney are now in a stiff competition for 3rd place in Florida. Here too, the Romney campaign has been spending hundreds of thousands of dollars each week.
Primary elections usually set up contrasts. An interesting component of the race is that no candidate has clearly positioned themselves as the social conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. Fred Thompson entered the race expecting to take the position as the primary social conservative alternative to Romney, but Mike Huckabee has also impressed many primary voters and there is no clear social conservative favorite.
Most notably, Mayor Giuliani continues to hold strong with socially conservative voters. Socially conservative voters are becoming more comfortable with Mayor Giuliani as they hear him speak clearly about his agenda. Two of the Mayor’s 12 Commitments that are most important are "to increase the number of adoptions, reduce the number of abortions and protect the quality of life for our children." And no candidate has better credentials on judges and the Mayor has committed to "reform the legal system and appoint strict constructionist judges."
A recent Gallup Poll report released last week points out that Mayor Giuliani leads among all Republican subgroups — including with Conservative Republicans, those who attend church weekly, Protestant/Christians and Catholics.8
2008 GENERAL ELECTION
President Bush made news last week saying Hillary Clinton will likely be the Democratic nominee — something the Mayor has been acknowledging for some time. Mayor Giuliani is clearly the strongest candidate to run against Senator Clinton in the general election and is likely the only Republican candidate that can beat her in 2008.
National polling head-to-head averages on Real Clear Politics show Mayor Giuliani running approximately 8 points stronger than Mitt Romney and about 5 points stronger than Fred Thompson against Clinton in the general election.
In reviewing states with public polls testing hypothetical general election match-ups, Mayor Giuliani runs 6 to 7 points stronger than Fred Thompson against Hillary Clinton. In the most recent state general election polling, Mayor Giuliani beats Hillary Clinton in swing Republican states of Arizona, Colorado, Missouri and Nevada.
More importantly, the Mayor puts blue states like Connecticut, New Jersey, Wisconsin, California, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington in play. Pat Toomey, President of the Club for Growth, states that "If Giuliani wins the nomination, he would be a fascinating candidate in that he really re-draws the map." Toomey points out that Giuliani could carry New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania ‘"so he changes the political calculus of the Electoral College dramatically."9 And Mayor Giuliani may be the only Republican candidate that can now compete and win in Ohio against Hillary Clinton.
These states are critical, not only because Rudy can win them, but if Rudy is the nominee, Democrats will be forced to spend money in California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Washington — states that they have spent almost no money in over the last few election cycles. Hillary Clinton will be forced to advertise in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago — the 3 most expensive media markets in the country, something Democrats haven’t had to do in 20 years. This will effectively take Florida off of the Democrat’s target map — making it a safe Republican state in 2008 if Mayor Giuliani is the nominee. If another Republican is the nominee, traditional blue states will be safe, meaning the Democrats can plow all their resources into Ohio and Florida.
In addition, if Democrats have to spend money competing in Connecticut and New Jersey, they will have to buy New York City television. One week of New York City television will cost the Democrats $3 million dollars, a week of time in Los Angles would cost $2.5 million and a week of television in Chicago would cost $1.5. By forcing them to compete in "blue" states they will have fewer resources to spend in Republican leaning states like Colorado, Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico, reducing the number of "red" states Democrats will compete in.
Because of the Mayor’s ability to compete in all of these states and force the Democrats to defend many states they have long considered "safe," Mayor Giuliani also gives our Republican congressional candidates in swing districts the best chance for winning, giving us our best chance at retaking the House in 2008. "A recent survey by Democratic pollster Celinda Lake showed Clinton and Obama trailing Mayor Giuliani in the 31 Democratic-held House districts regarded as most imperiled in 2008, and even potentially serving as a drag on those lawmakers’ reelection chances. It paints a ‘sobering picture’ for Democrats, according to a memo by Lake and Daniel Gotoff that accompanies the poll report. Giuliani takes 49 percent to Clinton’s 39 percent, while the former mayor’s lead over Obama is far smaller, 41 percent to 40 percent. ‘Despite Obama’s relative advantage over Clinton, both candidates are significantly underperforming against the generic Democratic edge in the presidential and even against party identification,’ Lake and Gotoff wrote."10
As this race enters the home stretch, Mayor Giuliani continues lead every national poll while no single opponent has emerged to threaten his frontrunner status. By November, we will likely see which candidate pulls away from the rest of the second-tier and becomes the Mayor’s primary opposition. Senator McCain has rebounded from his summer lows but seems to have a limited potential for growth. Mitt Romney has spent tens of millions of dollars, yet has failed to become a significant player on the national stage. And we have yet to see if Fred Thompson will try to compete as a regional or a national candidate.
As the MoveOn attacks on the Mayor demonstrate, there is no candidate that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats fear more in the general election than Rudy Giuliani. That strength is further supported by recent poll numbers showing Mayor Giuliani as the Republican’s strongest general election candidate and reiterated by Democratic polling in swing Democratic congressional districts.
1 Pew Report national poll – 9/12/07-9/16/07; RWG 32%, Thompson 21%, Romney 9%, McCain 15.
2 Pew Report national poll – 7/25/07-7/29/07; RWG 27%, Thompson 18%, Romney 10%, McCain 16%.
3 Pew Report national poll – 9/12/07-9/16/07; "Tough": RWG 39%, Thompson 18%, McCain 26%, Romney 2%.
"Energetic": RWG 48%, Thompson 8%, McCain 11%, Romney 14%. "Smart": RWG 29%, Thompson 17%, McCain 17%, Romney 12%.
4 FOX News national poll – 9/11/07-9/12/07; RWG 34%, Thompson 22%, McCain 16%, Romney 8%.
5 FOX News national poll – conducted 8/21/07-8/22/07: RWG 29%, Thompson 14%, Romney 11%, McCain 7%.
6 CNN/WMUR New Hampshire poll – 9/17/07-9/24/07; RWG 24%, Thompson 13%, Romney 25%, McCain 18%.
7 Market Research Group poll – 9/13/07-9/19/07; RWG 27%, Thompson 13%, Romney 13%, McCain 6%.
8 Jeffrey M. Jones, "Frontrunner Giuliani Leading Among Most Republican Subgroups," The Gallup Poll 28 Sept. 2007: http://www.galluppoll.com/content/default.aspx?ci=28828
9 Salena Zito, "The Club for Growth 2008," Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 23 Sept. 2007.
10 Chris Cillizza and Shailagh Murray, "In Swing Districts, Democratic Enthusiasm is Harder to Come By," Washington Post 23 Sept. 2007: A02.