November 4, 2007

WHO REMEMBERS 30 YEARS AGO?:

No Clear Front-Runner for GOP Nomination, Poll Finds (Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, 11/04/07, Washington Post)

Former New York City mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani maintains a double-digit lead over his main rivals, but most of his supporters back his candidacy only "somewhat" and he has yet to gain momentum among key primary voting groups or to distinguish himself as the best candidate for the party. [...]

In the new poll, a third of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they would vote for Giuliani if their state's primary or caucus were held today. That puts him 14 percentage points ahead of Arizona Sen. John McCain and 17 points ahead of former Tennessee senator Fred D. Thompson. [...]

Not since 1979 has the leading Republican candidate had less than 40 percent support in national polls in the November heading into an election year. That year, Ronald Reagan was the early poll leader, as Giuliani is today, and he went on to win the Republican nomination and the presidency.

This year's GOP race is notable also because the national poll leader does not lead in either of the first two states to hold contests next year.


We look back at Ronald Reagan through misty memories of the Great Communicator and two electoral landslides, but the reality is that he spent all of '79 and '80 trying to get out from under the image of being a trigger-happy nutcase and didn't finally do so until October 29th, 1980, one week before the election.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 4, 2007 6:40 PM
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