Some number-crunching might help clarify the Klein-Ponnuru debate on Giuliani’s electability. I’m going to use the data from the latest Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll. The methodology here is quite imperfect — when you’re analyzing one slice of a poll, the margin of error increases — but it may still be useful to think about these figures when considering Rudy’s electoral strength.
The Fox poll show’s Rudy leading Hillary 49-40. Among Democrats, Hillary leads 73-20; among Republicans, Rudy leads 87-6, and among independents, Rudy leads 46-39. The sample is 37% Democratic, 36% Republican, 19% independent, 4% other, and 3% don’t know/refused to answer.
To put those numbers another way, the total sample breaks down to:
27.01% Democrats for Hillary,
2.16% Republicans for Hillary,
7.41% independents for Hillary,
7.4% Democrats for Rudy,
31.32% Republicans for Rudy,
and 8.74% independents for Rudy.
Based on the remainders, we can surmise 3.42% for Hillary and 1.54% for Rudy in the other and don’t know/refused to answer categories.
With regards to the redrawing-the-map question, notice that almost 18% of the sample are non-Republicans for Rudy. If he holds those voters, Rudy can win even if a quarter(!) of his Republican supporters stay home.
Of course, Ramesh thinks he won’t hold those voters, because some of them are pro-life swing voters who will swing back to Hillary. The same poll asks about abortion; the result is that 40% consider themselves pro-life, 51% pro-choice, 5% both or mixed, and 4% aren’t sure. Broken down by party, Democrats are pro-choice by 64-29 pro-life vs. pro-choice, independents are 61-28, and Republicans are pro-life by 61-32.
If 20% of Rudy’s Democratic supporters and 20% of his independent supporters defect to Hillary, he’s still ahead, even if 8% of his Republican supporters stay home. If a larger number of non-Republicans defect to Rudy, he loses, but the race is still very close; Give Hillary 30% of Rudy’s independent supporters and 30% of his Democratic supporters, and she’s ahead by less than a point.