New data from the latest national CNN poll out on Thursday shows that the distance between President Obama and his possible GOP opponents is tightening among the declared (Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney) and nearly declared (Tex. Gov. Rick Perry) GOP frontrunners. But it also showed that there was one Republican candidate in the poll who outpaced Obama in a matchup, 51 - 45. That candidate was former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Just one problem…he’s probably not running.
Other candidates did have a decent showing against Obama: the President was ahead of Romney only by a point, 48 - 47, and Perry was able to pull within five points, at 51 - 46, despite not even announcing or having a formal campaign yet. Even Bachmann, beginning to sag in the polls due to the entrance of Perry, was able to get close to the President at 51 - 45.
But despite the matchup data against Obama, the poll showed that Giuliani would face the same problem he had last time: winning the GOP nomination. He came in a tie for third when CNN asked GOP primary voters who they would like to see as the party’s standard bearer, registering 12% alongside fellow non-candidate former AK Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Romney led the field with 17%, and Perry hit 15%.
Of course Giuliani has neither declared or made loud noises like he might run. Even a report from the AP that cited sources saying the former mayor is trying to pick up New Hampshire operatives was tempered:
“The mayor is still considering it and if he goes, I’m with him,” said Wayne Semprini, who led Giuliani’s campaign in New Hampshire in 2008. Semprini acknowledged contacting potential staffers in recent days, but he said he was simply surveying the landscape as Giuliani decides whether to get into the race.
The CNN poll was conducted from August 5th to the 7th by live telephone. For the presidential matchups, the survey used 930 interviews with registered voters, which has a margin of error of three percent. The GOP primary sample numbers used 449 interviews, with a sampling error of 4.5 percent.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.