Today the Wall Street Journal had as its question of the day, "Who would be the strongest candidate for Republicans in the 2008 presidential election?
Here are the choices and the results when I voted this afternoon:
Sam Brownback - 2%
Newt Gingrich - 10%
Rudy Giuliani - 31%
John McCain - 34%
Mitt Romney - 12%
Someone Else - 11%
I posted the following in the WSJ Forum:
I must admit I was surprised to see Giuliani score so high.
Sam Brownback - An unknown to me and I consider myself a bit of a political wonk. Doesn't have the name recognition.
Newt Gingrich - I was a big Newt fan when he was the speaker of the house. He's intelligent and very well spoken. However, I don't believe he has done enough during the last 18 months to rebuild his name recognition and reputation.
Rudy Giuliani - Loved by all. However, I don't see Giuliani possessing the "X" factor - that unexplanable factor that causes people to say " He's Presidential". He also hasn't been very visible on the political landscape. I believe Barack Obama possesses the "X" factor and that makes him a strong democratic candidate even though he hugely lacks legislative, executive and foreign affairs experience.
John McCain - He's ruffled some feathers in Congress and with the political pundits but he comes accross loud and clear to voting public. The question is whether he can get past South Carolina during the primaries. The difference this time is McCain has the experience of having run for president and has had several years to gain recognition and build allies. I believe all the work he has done since running against Bush will payoff big time. He is the strongest candidate, but watch out for #2 - see below.
Mitt Romney - Watch out! I'm from Massachusetts and I can tell you Mitt has the intelligence (MBA and JD from Harvard) and the "X" factor. He now has executive experience (Governor of Mass) and is a proven problem solver, e.g., fixing the Winter Olympics in Utah. The question is whether he has enough national exposure to win over the voters. He's doing his homework and is building a very strong foundation, e.g., meeting the right people and putting together a team. I expect Mitt Romney will win the presidential election in either 2008 or during the next Republican opportunity. In worse case, the 2008 election will simply build his character and provide him with the necessary experience to win a national election.