Presidential Poll Numbers

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I can’t be the only person weirded out by the findings of the latest Gallup poll on “confidence” in the presidential field:

We all know who the front-runners are, right? I’m pretty sure they’re Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guiliani. So explain to me why, when asked specifically about leadership skills, Americans say this:

* 55% have “a great deal” or “a fair amount” of confidence in Sen. John McCain “to do or to recommend the right thing for the war in Iraq;” 55% for former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 54% for Barack Obama, 51% for Sen. Hillary Clinton, and 50% for Sen. John Edwards.

* 69% have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in Giuliani “to do or to recommend the right thing for handling terrorism;” 66% for McCain, 55% for Clinton, 53% for Obama, and 48% for Edwards.

* 62% have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in Obama “to do or to recommend the right thing for the economy;” 61% for Clinton, 60% for Giuliani, 53% for MCain, 51% for Edwards.

McCain’s numbers, I’m sure, have something to do with the independents that still like the tough old bird. (And they may go toward finally putting to rest the myth that his primary bid was done in by his support for the Iraq surge.) I have no idea why people think Rudy knows what to do there. Maybe impose martial law? Legalize Iraqi gay marriage? But the most stunning data set here are Obama’s numbers on the economy. Wha? Beating “two Americas” Edwards by 10 points? He hasn’t even, as far as I know, made the economy a central plank in his platform. He must just radiate “fairness.” As well as, you know, second hand smoke.

(H/T: Pollster.com)

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