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A Message to You, Rudy (and Not Just You)

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Pollster extraordinaire Mike Baselice has just sent around the results of his latest survey of likely Republican presidential primary voters — conducted April 16 to 19, with 831 respondents — and there are different degrees of bad news for each of the three announced top-tier GOP candidates.

Back in January, at the time of Baselice’s last survey, Rudy Giuliani was in the number one spot, with 28 percent of the vote. He’s in the first spot this time too, but he’s dropped to 24 percent. Last time John McCain was in second by himself, with 26 percent. He’s now tied for second, at only 19 percent, with a guy who isn’t even running (yet): Fred Thompson. (Thompson wasn’t included in Baselice’s last survey.) Newt Gingrich, who’s also not running as of now, was in third last time, at 17 percent, but is now in fourth, with 12 percent. And Mitt Romney, who has raised a good bit of money in Texas, nonetheless can do no better than fifth; last time he was at 6 percent, and this time he’s at 8 percent (a slight uptick must be small comfort when he can’t even beat two non-candidates). The other Republicans are at 2 percent or less — as unlikely to win here as elsewhere. (The margin of error for the April survey is plus or minus 3.4 percent.)

A separate question, measuring positive and negative impressions of the candidates, found that Giuliani’s and Gingrich’s positives dropped slightly, McCain’s increased slightly, and Romney’s nearly doubled. Romney’s, McCain’s, and Gingrich’s negatives increased slightly, and Giuliani’s nearly doubled. Thompson’s positives were better than Romney’s but behind those of the other three, and his negatives were negligible.

Bottom line: It’s a horse-race, folks.

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