September 29, 2005

RUDY GIULIANI is still way ahead in Patrick Ruffini's straw poll.

What's more, his lead extends across different kinds of respondents. Online polls are iffy, but I think Patrick's gets enough people from the group of activists and serious political junkies to be an indication -- and it's not even close, with Giuliani way ahead of the number-two candidate, George Allen. Giuliani is even ahead among those calling themselves conservative, as well as those calling themselves libertarian. He trails Allen among those who tag themselves as pro-life, but not by much. Overall, he looks pretty strong, and he's certainly a stronger national candidate in the general election than Allen, who is far less well-known. Perhaps most tellingly, he leads in a runaway among fiscal conservatives, outpolling the next three candidates combined.

Could Giuliani be the Perot of this decade? If he wanted to be, I think he could. (Heck, if the two parties continue their spiral of mutual destruction, he might even get elected as an independent.)