RUDY v. AL? A new Quinnipiac poll of voters in large swing states -- Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania -- shows Rudy Giuliani ahead of Hillary Clinton in all three. Of course, it�s early, but Peter Brown of Quinnipiac writes of Hillary: �Her support is very deep, but narrow. Democrats view her favorably 8-1, but she turns off independents.� What�s interesting about this finding is that voices from the moderate wing of the Democratic Party, who incessantly emphasize the importance of independent voters in general elections, find that their favorite daughter candidate is the one most struggling with the very voters they deem pivotal.

Who does Brown, summarizing the results, Democrats ought to think about nominating? Al Gore -- the only candidate who beats Giuliani head-to-head in all three states. �Perhaps absence does make the heart grow fonder. Vice President Gore generally runs best against any of the Republican candidates," writes Brown. "Whatever the reason, should Gore get in, he could reshape the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.�

--Tom Schaller

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