Gi­u­liani is most pop­u­lar U.S. politi­cian; Kerry comes in last

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Eric Pfeif­fer

Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani is the most pop­u­lar politi­cian in Amer­ica, ac­cord­ing­toanew­sur­vey.The­former New York City mayor, a likely can­di­date­forthe2008Repub­li­can­pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, tops a list of 20 lead­ers whose pop­u­lar­ity with reg­is­tered vot­ers was mea­sured by Quin­nip­iac Univer­sity.

The sur­vey asked re­spon­dents to rate their feel­ings about the 20 lead­ers on a “ther­mome­ter read­ing” scale of 0 to 100. Mr. Gi­u­liani fin­ished with a 64.2 rat­ing. Trail­ing closely were Sens. Barack Obama, Illi­nois Demo­crat, and John McCain, Ari­zona Repub­li­can, who tal­lied 58.8 and 57.7. Sec­re­tary of State Con­doleezza Rice was the top-rank­ing wo­man in the sur­vey, fin­ish­ing just be­hind Mr. McCain with a 56.1 rat­ing.

“As we en­ter the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign of 2008, Gi­u­liani and McCain are in en­vi­able po­si­tions,” said Quin­nip­iac as­sis­tant poll di­rec­tor Peter A. Brown. “They are well-re­garded, and most Amer­i­cans are quite familiar with them. Obama’s show­ing is im­pres­sive, but 4 in 10 Amer­i­cans still don’t know enough about him to have an opin­ion.”

De­spite con­cerns that his lib­eral views on so­cial is­sues will hurt him with Repub­li­can pri­mary vot­ers, Mr. Gi­u­liani con­tin­ues to lead the field in nearly ev­ery pub­licly re­leased pres­i­den­tial poll.

Pres­i­dent Bush did not fare nearly as well, com­ing in at num­ber 15 with a 43.8 rat­ing. For­mer Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton topped Mr. Bush with a 55.8 rat­ing and a fifth-place fin­ish. How­ever, Mr. Bush did top 2004 ri­val Sen. John Kerry, Mas­sachusetts Demo­crat, who fin­ished 20thinthesur­vey,witha39.6rat­ing.

Sen. Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton, New York Demo­crat, fin­ished ninth in the sur­vey with a 49-point rank­ing. Mrs. Clin­ton is now con­sid­ered the front-run­ner for her party’s 2008 pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion. In­com­ing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi fin­ished in 12th place, with a 46.9 rat­ing. That marks a sub­stan­tial in­crease for Mrs. Pelosi, who did not make the top 20 in the last Quin­nip­iac sur­vey.

“In Septem­ber, most Amer­i­cans did not know enough about U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and those who did didn’t like what they knew,” Mr. Brown said. “Now, per­haps be- cause ev­ery­one likes a win­ner, she has in­creased her stand­ing with the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

Miss Rice’s high rat­ing in the sur­vey was par­tic­u­larly im­pres­sive con­sid­er­ing she is the only in­di­vid­ual plac­ing in the top 10 who has not pre­vi­ously sought elected of­fice. Ex­clud­ing Miss Rice, seven of the top 10 are con­sid­ered likely pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates in 2008.

“I was very ex­cited to see how well she did,” said Richard Holt, a found­ing mem­ber of the Na­tional Black Repub­li­can As­so­ci­a­tion. “She’dmakeanex­cel­lent­can­di­date.”

Sur­vey re­spon­dents also named Miss Rice as the most pow­er­ful wo­man in Amer­ica, top­ping Mrs. Clin­ton 45 per­cent to 29 per­cent. Twenty-three per­cent se­lected Mrs. Pelosi.

How­ever, Mrs. Clin­ton topped Miss Rice in the same sur­vey when re­spon­dents were asked which fe­male leader they think is best qual­i­fied to serve as pres­i­dent.

Fifty-six per­cent said Mrs. Clin­ton is most qual­i­fied to serve as pres­i­dent. Miss Rice fin­ished a close sec­ond with 50 per­cent. Mean­while, 47 per­cent said they do not think Mrs. Pelosi is qual­i­fied for the White House.

The Wash­ing­ton Times

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