First the data then the caveats.
In the new poll’s three-way matchups among registered voters, Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton would hold a slight edge in an all-New York race with 41 percent, compared to Republican frontrunner Rudy Giuliani’s 38 percent and Bloomberg’s 17.
In a two-way matchup, Clinton and Giuliani are effectively tied, 49-48 percent, with a sampling error of 3.5 percentage points.
In a race pitting Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, against Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, and Bloomberg, Obama drew 40 percent; McCain, 34 percent; and Bloomberg, 21. Without the New York mayor, Obama would edge McCain 48-44 percent, according to the poll.
In each case he takes 10 points from the Republican and eight from the Democrat … which is within the margin of error of three points. Plus, it stands to reason that Bloomy would lure voters from Rudy and McCain given that they’re all centrists. Let’s see how he does against Fred in four months or so, after the latter’s begun campaigning in earnest and established himself as the “traditional conservative” candidate. I said last month that a Hillary/Fred/Bloomy free-for-all would be a good deal for the GOP. I’m sticking with it for the moment.
Meanwhile, here’s rumor-quashing video today from South Carolina of the grim reaper of amnesty, his grinning flunky in tow.