A new Rasmussen Reports poll has detected a slide in the support for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani. The former New York mayor had held a strong lead over Hillary Clinton in their hypothetical general election match up, but that lead is now completely gone. Giuliani had maintained a lead over Clinton for five straight months. In last month’s poll, Rudy led Hillary by eight points. Two months ago it was nine points. Now Giuliani leads Clinton by a single point 48%-47%. This is within the statistical margin of error, so the, “what if” match up is now considered a dead heat. In other polls this week, Giuliani saw his lead slip nine points in the race for the GOP nomination, and his lead vanish in a potential match up Barrack Obama.

Giuliani’s socially liberal positions and checkered personal life are not doing him any favors right now. The reality here is that all voters knew about Giuliani was that he was the mayor of New York when 9/11 happened. I have always thought that it was doubtful that Giuliani could climb to the presidency solely on the backs of thousands of people who were both the victims and the real heroes of that horrible day. He was mayor of New York on 9/11, so what?

 If Bloomberg would have been the mayor on 9/11, does this mean that he also should automatically be considered presidential material? The bottom line here is that Rudy is too socially liberal for the “red states.” While I do think that it is silly to expect a presidential candidate to have a perfect personal life, the kind of decisions a person makes in their own life reveal a great deal about their character, and how they will handle the tough professional questions.

Contrast the personal lives of Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton against that of an Edwards, Obama, or Romney, and it isn’t a pretty picture. That is why this poll is so important. Giuliani has slipped against the weakest and least likable of the top three Democratic contenders. If Rudy can’t hold her off, then that is evidence that there are some problems on the horizon. The scene could only get darker for Rudy once his more conservative opponents start advertising, and hammering away at his liberal record. He already struggled in South Carolina earlier this week when he had to defend his support of public funding for abortions. Right now we may only be beginning to see the cracks in Giuliani’s campaign, but I still think his decline is going to come hard and fast, once conservative voters hear about what he stands for.

Link to the Rasmussen Reports poll

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse blog radio

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