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Monday, April 30, 2007
McCain Leads Giuliani in Alabama

Of course, polls this far out aren't worth much, but it's nice to see just the same.

A survey of likely Republican voters in Alabama found that U.S. Sen. John McCain and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are about even at the top of a crowded GOP field of presidential candidates.

In a Press-Register and University of South Alabama telephone poll of 402 people planning to vote in February's Republican presidential primary, McCain was favored by 23 percent, while Giuliani was the choice of 22 percent of those responding to the survey.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney received 12 percent, followed by actor and former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, with 10 percent, and former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with 7 percent. Thompson and Gingrich are considering runs for the GOP nomination, but have not officially entered the race.

Meanwhile, Cliff Kincaid hyperventilates over a proposal by Fox News to limit their debate to candidates with a chance of winning. His point would be valid if Fox weren't setting the bar quite low:

Reports indicate that the candidates will have to register at one percent in various polls before being invited to the debate. But as the AP story noted, “In a variety of national and state polls, seven of the 10 candidates hover around one percent or less.” Four candidates—Hunter, Tancredo, Paul, and Brownback—are at one percent in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll. But it’s not clear this poll will be used to select the debate participants. The three top GOP candidates in the poll who stand to benefit the most from the Fox News decision are Giuliani (at 39 percent in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll), McCain (24 percent) and Romney (12 percent).

But certainly registering 1% should not be an insurmountable hurdle, and Fox is quite right to insist on at least that kind of support, otherwise we'd have a debate with 1,500 candidates. I suspect that Hunter, Tancredo, Paul and Brownback will be in the debate, but some even more marginal candidates like Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore may be left out.

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