WASHINGTON — America trusts its top White House candidates on the big issues, but leading Republican Rudy Giuliani thumps New York Democrat Hillary Clinton on getting crossover voters from the rival party.
So says a Gallup Poll that found that although overall majorities trust all the well-known candidates, Democrats have more confidence in opposing-party candidates than do Republicans.
The biggest difference is between Clinton and Giuliani. In the starkest case, just 15 percent of Republicans like Clinton dealing with Iraq, while 41 percent of Democrats trust Giuliani.
Gallup editor Frank Newport said Tuesday he suspected Giuliani's negatives would rise to look more like Clinton's as the campaign wears on. But the ex-mayor's broader appeal also could spell trouble for her.
"Wait till October and I think you'll find that ... the Republican nominee will have similar unfavorables," he said. "If not, then ... the Republican is going to sail easily to the election."
Republicans get the edge on security, with 55 percent of Americans trusting Giuliani and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to deal with Iraq, even though both oppose the popular push to end the war soon.
The GOP has a bigger edge in fighting terrorism, with 69 percent trusting Giuliani and 66 percent McCain. Sen. Barack Obama, Clinton and John Edwards trail by 10 to 15 points.
Democrats turn the tables on health care, with 65 percent liking Clinton, even though her greatest public failure was trying to reform the system in the 1990s. On economic matters, Senate rookie Obama leads the pack at 62 percent.