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Clinton Beats Giuliani in New York Poll

Reported by Judy - March 6, 2006

Bad news for all those sites selling "Giuliani in 2008" campaign gear. Hillary Clinton beats fhe former New York mayor among New York state residents in a hypothetical 2008 presidential matchup.

Neil Cavuto featured the poll Monday (March 6, 2006) in a segment of "Your World with Neil Cavuto." The poll of 500 New York residents taken February 28 showed Senator Clinton leading Giuliani, 48 percent to 39 percent. That's a turnaround from just last October, when Clinton trailed Giulini in a hypothetical matchup done by Siena Research Institute.

Democratic strategist Hank Steinkopf agreed with the premise of Cavuto's question -- the poll means Republicans are in deep trouble in New York, where Democrats hold a registration edge of more than 2 million voters. Steinkopft said the GOP troubles extend to 2008 nationally. "She (Senator Clinton) has done a terrific job of creating constituency, particularly among white Catholic men. You cannot win in a New York state election without Catholic voters," he said.

Republican strategist Karen Hanretty downplayed the poll, arguing that Giuliani is much more popular nationally than Senator Clinton because he has been traveling the country giving motivational speeches. In a national poll, she claimed, Giuliani would do much better than the senator. Then she repeated the Republican party line on Senator Clinton: "We know that Democrats are very concerned about Hillary winning the nomination for president and running in '08 and what that might mean for their party."

Later, Hanretty brought up the "angry" label the GOP is trying to stick on Senator Clinton and said, "The reason that works so well is because when you put her out there in front of a lot of audiences, I just don't think that she is going to have the mass appeal that a lot of other candidates in her party could have."

Steinkopf warned Republicans to be careful what they wish for. If Senator Clinton does as well nationally among white Catholic men as she does in New York, he said, she will do well in Midwest cities, such as Cleveland. That is important because the Midwest is likely to be the big battleground in the next election.

"The idea that she is somehow this beast ... [that] nobody wants to be next to is nonsense," he said.

Cavuto then said that "extreme elements in the Democratic Party" may not like her more moderate stance on the war.

Several things stood out about the segment. Cavuto sneaked in the word "extreme" and linked it to the Democratic Party, even though it was only tangentially connected to the main topic of the segment. And Hanretty got some more mileage out of the "angry" Clinton label while encouraging Democrats to dump a popular candidate.

Steinkopf's analysis of the poll is interesting news that should not be overlooked. White Catholic men are not exactly a group that you would expect to find in HIllary Clinton's camp.

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