Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Giuliani: Firm hold on national polling (not in Iowa)

Giuliani: Firm hold on national polling (not in Iowa)

by Mark Silva

From that national perspective of who's on top and who's not, Republican Rudy Giuliani remains on top of the GOP pack of presidential candidates.

This overlooks the fact that Republican Mitt Romney fares better in the latest survey of Iowans likely to turn out for the nation's first nominating caucuses in January -- yet Romney has not gained any traction on the national stage, the Gallup Poll reports.

As the Republican candidates prepare to face off again today, this time in Dearborn, Mich., the newest Gallup Poll shows that Giuliani stands 12 points stronger among Republicans nationally than former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson -- who will make his first appearance on the party's debate stage this afternoon -- and 16 points ahead of Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

The poll finds former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee moving within two points of Romney, whose nationwide support among Republicans remains mired in single digits.

In his summary of "The Race as of Oct. 9,'' Gallup Editor-in-chief Frank Newport reports:

"The basic structure of the national Republican race for president has remained relatively stable since early September. If there has been a change of note over the last several months, it has been the failure of Mitt Romney to capitalize on his mini-surge when he won the Iowa straw poll in early August,'' - again, bypassing talk of Romney's gain in Iowa polling.

"John McCain has, at the same time, recovered his standing after slipping in August,'' Newport says of his Oct. 4-7 survey. "There has been a slight but steady increase in support for Mike Huckabee, despite his very low name identification.''

For more, see the Gallup Poll reporl:

McCain: Retool Jobs Programs

McCain: Retool Jobs Programs

DETROIT (AP) — John McCain on Tuesday proposed updating the unemployment system and retooling training programs to help people who have lost their jobs — particularly older workers — adapt to a changing economy.

"Change is hard, and while most of us gain, some industries, companies and workers are forced to struggle with very difficult choices," the Republican presidential candidate said as he espoused free-market principles in a state that leads the nation in unemployment.

"But it is government's job to help workers get the education and training they need for the new jobs that will be created by new businesses in this new century," McCain added.

In a broad speech to the Detroit Economic Club, the Arizona senator promised to rein in runaway federal spending, simplify the tax code, help U.S. industries become more competitive and control spiraling health care costs. Speaking in the home state of the Big Three U.S. automakers, McCain also called for increasing fuel efficiency standards while maintaining auto safety.

"We can't keep this level of gas guzzling and make a strong impact on our dependence on foreign oil. It's a national security issue," McCain said in response to a post-speech question about gas mileage requirements. His remarks were met with silence from a skeptical audience. "I noticed no applause," he said with a chuckle before a few people obliged.

McCain spoke to about 500 members of the group hours before joining eight GOP opponents in nearby Dearborn, Mich., for a debate primarily on economic issues. The setting was fitting. Michigan's unemployment rate was 7.4 percent in August; the nation's was 4.6 percent.

In the speech, McCain slapped at his rivals generally, scolding them for "claiming to understand the finer nuances of markets and management. In fact, success has nothing to do with fancy theory." He said free people are the strongest economic force in the country.

As he does routinely, McCain also assailed Democrats and accused their party's presidential front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton, of backing dangerous economic policies.

"I will not let the Democrats roll back the Bush tax cuts," said McCain, who voted against the president's tax cuts but now supports them because he says that repealing them would amount to a tax increase.

Separating himself from Bush, McCain criticized federal programs intended to aid displaced workers, and called for:

_Overhauling the unemployment insurance program so that it can retrain, relocate and assist workers to find new jobs.

_Replacing a half-dozen outmoded and redundant jobs programs with a single system and drawing on the success of community colleges that he says does a better job than the federal government of giving workers skills they need.


Fred is Fading Fast

October 8, 2007

Fred is Fading (Dick Morris)

@ 1:15 pm

Scott Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll catalogues a candidacy in trouble as it chronicles Fred Thompson’s descent over the past two weeks in the polls as his candidacy increasingly comes to resemble the old U.S. Vanguard rocket, which would go three feet up in the air before crashing back down on the launching pad (circa 1958).

Rasmussen, who uses a tight screen to identify core Republican primary voters, has always had Thompson higher than any of the other polling organizations. These other firms, like Gallup, use a looser screen, which may let in more people who are not definitely going to vote in GOP primaries. (Neither one is clearly right or wrong, but the one likely understates turnout while the other probably overstates it. Take your pick.)

Rasmussen has Thompson losing a fifth of his vote share between Sept. 25 and Oct. 5, dropping from 27 percent to 21 in the national GOP head-to-head contest:

Rasmussen shows Thompson drop

Date Thompson Vote Share

Sept. 25 27%
Sept. 26 26%
Sept. 27 26%
Sept. 28 24%
Sept. 29 26%
Sept. 30 25%
Oct. 1 25%
Oct. 2 24%
Oct. 3 22%
Oct. 4 22%
Oct. 5 21%

All his missteps and his laid-back style of campaigning is taking a toll on the early enthusiasm with which his candidacy was received.