November 3, 2007


Republicans waiting for the next Reagan (Doyle McManus, November 3, 2007, LA Times)

In a two-hour-long discussion organized by pollster Peter D. Hart for the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, a dozen GOP voters late this week discussed the issues on their minds, the qualities they want in a president and their uncertainty about their party's crop of candidates. [...]

At the beginning of the evening, a straw poll around the table gave Giuliani four votes, Thompson three, Romney two and Sen. John McCain of Arizona two. [...]

Two hours later, when offered a choice between solely Giuliani and Thompson, nine of the 12 voters said they would probably pick Thompson.

Giuliani won praise for his toughness and his leadership in New York after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, but criticism for his moderate positions on abortion and civil unions for homosexuals.

Thompson won praise for his conservative positions on social issues and what these voters perceived as his more approachable personality.

"Thompson is more 'people,' more open, more listening," said Jennifer Wade, 23, a telephone call center worker.

The thrust of the "focus group" discussion mirrored the findings of a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll last month. That survey found Giuliani and Thompson are the most popular candidates among GOP voters nationwide, but most said they could still end up supporting someone else.

Pollster Hart, summarizing the tone of the focus group, said, "They're dying to find somebody, and nobody has emerged.

He added: "You have two different races: the professional race and the personal race. The professional race is won almost overwhelmingly by Rudy Giuliani, but when it comes to personal qualities, they strongly prefer Fred Thompson."

Several women in the group, asked to describe Giuliani, chose unflattering adjectives. "Cold," said Wade. "Cocky," said Beninghove.

Thompson, on the other hand, is "more like Reagan," said George Kraynak, 65, a retired maintenance supervisor.

Terry Austin, 49, a Virginia state trooper, said Thompson "reminds me of a time gone by that we'd like to have back. He's got that air of a good ol' country boy that's got the whole country in his mind."

Asked which candidate they would want to organize their neighborhood's response to a disaster, nine named Giuliani. Asked which candidate they would most want to spend a weekend with, 10 said Thompson.

Romney, who is hoping that wins in Iowa and New Hampshire will vault him to the nomination, presented a problem to many of these voters: They don't know much about him, but they do know he's a Mormon and that, Armstrong said, "makes me nervous."

Five of the 12 voters said Romney's faith made them unlikely to vote for him.

"I really hate to hold someone's religion against them," said Matt. "But part of being a strong leader is having Christian values in the mainstream."

When every newscycle is your enemy, as it is for the Mayor and Mitt, you're toast.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 3, 2007 6:10 PM

When I look at Rudy one word comes to mind.

Douche Bag

Ok, that’s two words.

A Republican, playing a Democrat, playing a Republican!

Posted by: Steve at November 5, 2007 4:28 AM