INTERNAL MEMO To: Campaign Leadership From: Rick Davis Subject: McCain v. Giuliani Electability Date: 10/25/07 The Presidency IV debate will be known as the debate where Senator McCain received a standing ovation for his criticism of Senator Clinton’s earmark for a ‘Woodstock Museum’ in New York and the fact that he was a POW at the time of Woodstock. It was probably the best line of the campaign thus far and helped us win the debate. However, the most critical issue raised in the debate was that Fox News highlighted the fact that their polling shows that Senator McCain is the strongest candidate against Senator Clinton in a head-to-head general election matchup. This is in stark contrast to what the Giuliani campaign has been telling voters for months. The Giuliani campaign has based their entire strategy on the premise that he is the best general election candidate in the field at a time when Republicans seem willing to risk ideological purity in an effort to defeat Senator Hillary Clinton. Polling data continues to show that the most important reason that primary voters currently favor Rudy Giuliani in national polls is because they view him as the best candidate in the general election. Fox News, Rasmussen, and the Real Clear Politics average all show Senator McCain as a stronger candidate than Rudy Giuliani in general election matchups. More importantly, state by state polling shows Senator McCain performing far better than Rudy Giuliani in ‘swing states’. Devastatingly, national conservative leaders have threatened to support a pro-life third party candidate if Rudy Giuliani is the Republican nominee. The combination of McCain outperforming Giuliani in national general election polling, state-by-state polling in swing states, and third party threat to Giuliani is a major problem for his campaign; it disproves the most important premise of his candidacy. Furthermore, the national landscape, historical trends, and issue grid have always favored McCain in a general election. We all know that national security issues are paramount in this election cycle and the fact that John McCain is the only candidate who is ready to lead on day one makes him a strong general election candidate. We all know that John McCain is the only candidate who has a record of performing very well in attracting independent voters in swing states such as New Hampshire and Michigan and has the ability to keep the Reagan coalition together. John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions. As it becomes more and more clear that John McCain is the best general election candidate he will steadily gain support at the expense of Rudy Giuliani and eventually win the nomination by performing well in the early primary states. Please see the attached documents for a detailed analysis and talking points regarding the general election. INTERNAL ANALYSIS Giuliani Campaign Convinced Voters of False Premise The Giuliani campaign successfully convinced Republican Primary voters in the first half of this year that he was the best general election candidate in the GOP field. They utilized many tactics including a strategy memo arguing that he could compete in liberal- leaning states, targeting her in advertising to infer that he was already running a general election campaign, and regularly attacking her by name in debates and public appearances. Their strategy was effective in convincing Republican primary voters that Rudy Giuliani was the strongest nominee for our party: 1. ABC National poll 50% thought Rudy Giuliani was strongest candidate. 2. Marist NH poll says Rudy strongest general election candidate: 40% Giuliani / 11% McCain. 3. CNN NH poll says Rudy strongest general election candidate: 32% Giuliani / 13% McCain. The Giuliani campaign’s success in convincing Republican Primary voters that he was the strongest general election candidate lead to the stabilization in his primary election poll numbers. Premise of Giuliani Candidacy = Rudy Best General Election Nominee Reasons Premise is False ∞ Reason # 1 - Rudy Giuliani’s Nomination Would Sacrifice Reagan Coalition Several national conservative leaders met at the Council for National Policy meeting in Salt Lake City Utah a couple of weeks ago and came to the conclusion that they would support a pro-life third party candidate rather than Rudy Giuliani if he wins the Republican nomination. The New York Times stated, “almost everyone present at the smaller group’s meeting expressed support for a written resolution stating that ‘if the Republican Party nominates a pro-abortion candidate we will consider running a third-party candidate.’” John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions. This is not just an issue of conservative leaders. There is also grassroots momentum for the same strategy. Several local conservative organizations, loosely called the Conservative Declaration of Independence, have been articulating that position for quite some time – however, this is the first time it has been manifested by national leaders of this stature. This activity has set off a wave of polling and other discussion of who would be the best candidate to defeat Hillary Clinton and whether Rudy could still win without the support of social conservatives. For example, Rasmussen recently released a poll that said 27% of Republicans would vote for a pro-life third party candidate rather than Rudy Giuliani if he was the nominee of our party. This is a recipe for disaster that threatens to break the conservative Reagan coalition that was built in the 1980’s and served our party well for decades. Simply put, Rudy Giuliani puts the Republican coalition of social and economic conservatives at risk and his nomination would have devastating results for our party. ∞ Reason # 2 - John McCain Strongest General Election Candidate in National Polling Now that the McCain campaign is perceived as headed in a positive direction, Senator McCain has retaken Rudy Giuliani as the strongest candidate in national polling against Hillary Clinton in Fox News, Rasmussen, and the Real Clear Politics average. The ‘McCain Comeback’ and ‘McCain Surge’ stories are now being written by a once-skeptical media. Senator McCain is once again the strongest candidate against Hillary Clinton in national general election polling – as he was in 2006 and early 2007. General Election Polls Fox News Oct. 9-10 Rasmussen Oct 10-11 Hillary Clinton 47% Hillary Clinton 44% John McCain 44% John McCain 43% Hillary Clinton 47% Hillary Clinton 48% Rudy Giuliani 43% Rudy Giuliani 41% Hillary Clinton 50% Hillary Clinton 52% Fred Thompson 38% Fred Thompson 37% Hillary Clinton 50% Hillary Clinton 47% Mitt Romney 38% Mitt Romney 41% John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions. As of October 12th, the RealClearPolitics average of head-to-head polls with both McCain and Giuliani against Clinton demonstrates that McCain was running neck-and-neck with Giuliani in terms of general election support, even during the most challenging months of the campaign over the summer and, in fact, regained the lead. The matrix below compares moving averages of McCain-Clinton and Giuliani-Clinton matchups over the last six months as compiled by RealClearPolitics.com. The numbers are averages of polls taken in a window of time rather than a rolling average of all polls taken for the year and is computed previous to the release of the favorable Fox News poll. General Election polls will fluctuate by a few points in either direction but this matrix shows pretty clearly that Senator McCain performs as well, if not better, than Rudy Giuliani against Senator Clinton. 10- 10-May 10-Jun 10-Jul Aug 10-Sep 12-Oct MCCAIN 44.2 44.5 45 43.8 42.3 41 CLINTON 46.2 43 48.5 46 46 45.7 MCCAIN VS CLINTON -2 1.5 -3.5 -2.2 -3.7 -4.7 GIULIANI 46 47.5 46.2 44.7 44.4 41.8 CLINTON 45 43.3 47.4 45.7 45.4 48 GIULIANI VS CLINTON 1 4.2 -1.2 -1 -1 -6.2 MCCAIN-CLINTON VS GIULIANI-CLINTON -3 -2.7 -2.3 -1.2 -2.7 1.5 Additional Factors: Rudy Giuliani Will Get ‘Swift Boated’ New York Fireman, Police Officers, and relatives of the victims of 9-11 are laying the groundwork to ‘Swift Boat’ Rudy Giuliani in relation to his performance on 9-11. Rudy Giuliani Will NOT Win Blue States Such as California, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey. The Giuliani campaign recently released a memo claiming that they would win several blue states in a General Election. Although both Rudy and McCain would ‘expand the playing field’ to some degree, it isn’t believable to argue that hard blue states would be in play. Giuliani performs somewhat better than John McCain in some of the more liberal states such as New York but certainly not well enough to win these states against Senator Clinton. John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions. John McCain Performs Better than Rudy Giuliani in Swing States The national polling numbers are very close between Giuliani and McCain in terms of who performs better against Hillary Clinton. John McCain performs better than Rudy Giuliani against Senator Clinton in every swing state surveyed by Rasmussen or Survey USA recently with the exception of Iowa where they are equal. McCain Pollster State and Date Giuliani Clinton McCain Clinton Edge Michigan Rasmussen 10/23 38 47 40 47 2 Survey Washington USA 10/23 43 50 47 46 8 Survey New Mexico USA 10/22 48 47 50 43 6 Survey USA Iowa 10/21 43 48 44 49 0 Survey USA Missouri 10/20 43 50 45 48 4 Survey USA Ohio 10/19 45 47 46 46 2 Survey Kentucky USA 10/17 45 47 49 45 6 Survey Wisconsin USA 10/24 41 48 45 46 6 John McCain Built His National Reputation by Winning Independents It should not be a surprise to anyone that Senator McCain performs well in a general election. He built his national political reputation by winning over famous Independents in New Hampshire and Independent-minded Reagan-Democrats in Michigan. Both of those states went Democrat in 2004 and Senator McCain would likely put both of those states in the Republican column in 2008. John McCain Keeps Reagan Coalition Together Ronald Reagan successfully put together a coalition of economic and social conservatives that was unstoppable in the 1980’s and lead to the takeover of Congress in 1994. Although John McCain has not always been willing to dance to the beat of the movement’s respective drummer on any given day, he has a solid record against tax increases, against pork barrel spending, and a consistent 24-year pro-life voting record. John McCain is the only major candidate who is capable of keeping the Reagan coalition together. John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions. John McCain is the Strongest on National Security National security is the most important issue in the 2008 cycle. Voters are beginning to realize that it is more important to be solid on foreign policy than it is on homeland disaster because it is better to stop the tragedies before they hit our borders rather than deal with them after innocent American lives have already been lost. Senator McCain is clearly the most prepared to be Commander-in-Chief and therefore by definition is the best on issues related to national security and homeland security. The primary electorate is beginning to value Senator McCain’s strengths more so than Rudy Giuliani’s leadership. In two recent New Hampshire polls, for example, McCain competes favorably with Giuliani in key categories that reflect a candidate’s leadership and experience: 1. Marist NH Poll - In “strong leader” category, McCain 23% / Giuliani 22%. 2. CNN NH Poll - In “right experience to be President” category, McCain 32% / Giuliani 17%. John McCain Can Restore Trust in Government The American people have lost all trust in their government and the GOP because of the failures of the Administration regarding Iraq, Katrina, and members of Congress in jail for corruption. Senator McCain is uniquely qualified to make the reform argument to the American people. John McCain Represents Core Values of the Party John McCain’s strength as a general election candidate is his ability to reach out and appeal to independent voters while still representing the core values of the Republican Party. When Republicans were asked in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll who best reflects the core values of the party, McCain led with 26 percent, followed by Giuliani at 23 percent, Thompson at 21 percent and Romney with 13 percent. Conclusion As primary voters realize that Rudy Giuliani would be a poor general election candidate it will lead to the dramatic collapse of Rudy Giuliani’s polling numbers that pundits have long predicted. Republican Primary voters will then look to the candidate who can defeat Hillary Clinton, best represent their values, and lead our country in these difficult times as Commander-in-Chief. John McCain is the only candidate able to accomplish these goals and bring our party to victory in 2008. John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions. A Second Look at McCain Could he be the strongest GOPer? KATE O'BEIRNE, NATIONAL REVIEW While Hillary Clinton is looking like a sure bet for her party's nomination, only the reckless would wager their own money on the likely Republican nominee. With the presence of Fred Thompson and the absence of Newt Gingrich, the GOP field is now complete - and completely without a conventional frontrunner. Its fluidity has prompted a second look by the rank and file: Republicans seeking to keep their party's base intact, while appealing to independents in order to have a shot at defeating Hillary, are taking another look at John McCain. A veteran GOP congressional aide who has been a critic of McCain, most recently on the issue of immigration, recently surprised himself by concluding that the Arizona senator would be the best general-election candidate. This strategist seeks a nominee who will unify and energize the base, who has the potential to win, and who makes fellow Republicans competitive. He notes that McCain is pro-life and strong on national security, and has long been in favor of fiscal restraint. In addition to unifying social, economic, and national-security conservatives, he argues, McCain has a maverick image that can appeal to the independent voters who abandoned the GOP in droves in 2006. The Christian-conservative leaders toying with the ruinous idea of a third-party challenge represent the legitimate concern that the nomination of Rudy Giuliani would fracture the winning coalition that has prevailed in five of the last seven presidential elections. The coalition includes both evangelicals and ethnic Catholics who have backed Republican candidates based on their positions on social and cultural issues rather than on tax policy or national security. In a year when Democrats are heavily favored to win the White House, many conservatives are unwilling to experiment with the notion that a wholly new coalition, with fewer social and cultural conservatives, will coalesce around a socially liberal Northeast Republican. No such candidate has been recently elected statewide, even in the Northeast. Giuliani enjoys a persistent perch at the top of the national polls, while the resistance to his candidacy remains equally persistent. Pollster Scott Rasmussen notes that the former mayor's support is less than 30 percent and doubts that it can grow by much. (Hillary Clinton's lead is far more formidable, besting her nearest competitor by 30 points in some national polls.) Republican voters obviously know Giuliani as "America's Mayor," a hero of 9/11 - but despite this positive image as a tested, tough leader, a large majority of Republicans resist him. Even his supporters aren't well-informed about his positions: A September CBS/New York Times poll found that only 41 percent of those who favored Giuliani for the nomination knew that he is pro-choice on abortion. National polling by Pew Research has found that only 4 out of 10 Republicans nationwide are able to identify his abortion position. It is hard to imagine his support growing among conservative voters, given what they will come to learn about both his liberal views on social issues and his operatic personal life. John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions. Many Republicans are also doubtful of Mitt Romney's ability to unify and energize the Republican base. Some worry about the recent vintage of his conservative views on abortion, gay rights, and guns. Others note the regrettable but real resistance to a Mormon candidate on the part of some evangelicals. If a significant number of these people stay home because they reject the appeal that the former governor shares their values, if not their faith, other Republican candidates will also pay a price for their prejudice. While Fred Thompson's record and platform should be able to unify the GOP base, it is unclear whether he will prove to have the fortitude and drive John McCain displayed in 2000. McCain's present underdog campaign is marked by that same energy and determination. The initial bounce in the polls that met Thompson's entry into the race has been slipping away. Some have predicted a "Fred fizzle" that Scott Rasmussen is not yet willing to declare; John McCain is the candidate most likely to benefit from a second look by Fred Thompson's supporters, should it appear his candidacy is not as viable as they had hoped. When the false assumptions that the case for Giuliani rests on are stripped away, McCain emerges as the stronger candidate. According to Giuliani's supporters, the fact that he has the best chance to beat Hillary is chief among the former mayor's attributes. He is leading the pack in part because plenty of Republicans share this mistaken view. A late September NBC/Wall Street Journal poll revealed that 47 percent of GOP primary voters think Giuliani is their best bet against Hillary. Giuliani topped Thompson and McCain as the most competitive general-election candidate by 30 points. But this impression is flatly contradicted by the candidates' standings in head-to-head match-ups: In the average of polling results compiled by RealClearPolitics, McCain is the most competitive candidate against Hillary. In recent polling, Hillary has been beating Giuliani by a margin of 6.2 points; her winning margin against McCain is 4.7 points. Giuliani's backers argue that his candidacy would put Northeast states like Pennsylvania in play and boost Republican prospects in other battleground states such as Ohio. But, again, recent polling indicates that Giuliani is no more competitive than McCain in these states. An October poll by Quinnipiac University found Hillary beating both Giuliani (48-42) and McCain (48-41) in Pennsylvania, and in Ohio as well (46-40 against Giuliani and 48-38 against McCain, with the difference within the poll's margin of error). Giuliani and McCain poll virtually the same against Hillary in Florida: She wins 46-43. Both candidates clearly benefit from being the most widely recognized Republicans. Based on the false assumption that Giuliani is the most competitive candidate against Hillary Clinton, the false choice offered Republican voters is to back either the candidate most likely to win or the candidate they most agree with on the issues. But based on current polling, McCain is as likely to win as Giuliani - and his positions on the issues are in closer accord with those of Republican voters. Republicans are also being told that during these perilous times they should be willing to John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions. prioritize a concern with national security over social issues. Voters need not make that tradeoff if they support McCain, who has both a pro-life record and more national-security experience than Giuliani. McCain is a conservative whose heterodox views on campaign-finance reform and immigration are shared by the more liberal Giuliani. With the defeat of the "comprehensive" immigration bill he championed, McCain recognizes that the public demands concrete enforcement measures - and he now pledges to secure the border before pressing for the legalization of illegal aliens. (He will, of course, have to convince conservatives that he is a genuinely reformed reformer committed to an "enforcement first" agenda.) Finally, McCain is in a long-term, stable second marriage and talks to all his children, although not as frequently as he would like. One son is a midshipman at the Naval Academy and another is an enlisted Marine serving in Iraq. Should Republicans reject the false choices being offered - and make a considered choice based on the man and the merits - a second look could give John McCain a second chance. John McCain… Courageous Service, Experienced Leadership, Bold Solutions.
Pages to are hidden for
"John McCain…"Please download to view full document