Jim Geraghty points to a series of Quinnipiac polls with Clinton ahead of Giuliani in Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio (albeit by low relatively margins). While I agree with Geraghty that results like these results hurt the ‘he can beat Hillary argument,’ I think it is worth pointing out that even though he is behind Clinton in these states, Giuliani still does better than his Republican rivals, so he still has a strong case to make that he’s the best one to take on Hillary, followed by McCain, with Thompson and if Romney well behind.
For instance, in Florida, Giuliani trails Clinton by three points (within the margin of error) while Thompson is 9 points behind, and Romney lags by 11 points. In Pennslyvania, Giuliani is behind by six points, while Thompson is down by 11 points and Romney by 12.Â McCain is just 4 points behind Hillary in Florida and seven points behind in Pennslyvania, but in Ohio, McCain is 10 points behind, whereas Giuliani lags by six. But Hillary beats Thompson there by 14 points and she trounces Romney by 17.
The bottom line is that the deck is stacked against the GOP next year, so it would be an uphill battle for any Republican candidate. But what these polls do show us is that Giuliani, at least right now, is the most competitive of the Republican candidates. McCain could also make an electability argument, but currently is in a much weaker position for the primaries.Â
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