Rich Galen

The issue for the Clinton campaign will be how long it takes her to seal the deal with rank-and-file Democratic primary voters who love her but are frightened that she will, as one national political reporter put it "march them right off the cliff in a general election."

On the Republican side, Rudy Giuliani is at the head of the class with 34% followed by John McCain (27%); Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are tied for third at 9%.

Chuck "Maybe he is a Bagel" Hagel is an asterisk tying him with Duncan Hunter but behind Tommy Thompson, Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, Jim Gilmore and Ron Paul (each of whom had one percent) and George Pataki (2 percent).

Having said that, remember that Howard Dean was a long-shot candidate in January of 2003 only to become the frontrunner by December of that year.

The general election match ups are a little suspect: Hillary beats Giuliani 49-47 and McCain 50-45. Giuliani beats Obama 49-45 but Obama beats McCain 47-45.

The general election results are suspect because the poll had party ID (including leaners) at 56% Democrat, 34% Republican and 7% Independents.

I was kidding about Bush getting blamed for the New Orleans Saints' loss to the Chicago Bears. It was cold and snowy at Soldier Field. Global warming notwithstanding.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at