GOP pollster predicts 'unstable' '08 primary

Republican pollster Bill McInturff is predicting an “unstable” run-up to the 2008 GOP presidential primary, as long-dormant Republican fault lines emerge and a host of unknown candidates scramble for the nomination.

Speaking at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting yesterday with reporters, McInturff, a partner at Public Opinion Strategies, said the two current front-runners for the Republican nomination — Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDon’t disrespect McCain by torpedoing his clean National Defense Authorization Act Meghan McCain rips Trump's 'gross' line about her dad Trump's America fights back MORE (Ariz.) and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani — “do not look like” obvious nominees.

In previous cycles, McInturff added, Republicans nominated candidates who, he said, had been waiting in line to run for the White House: Vice President George H.W. Bush, Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.), even Texas Gov. George W. Bush, who was the clear choice of many leading Republicans early on in the primaries.

In 2007-2008, he said, “the divisions in the party are going to be much more slugged out in public.”

McInturff added that McCain could be the best-financed candidate in the GOP primary, in sharp contrast to his 2000 presidential campaign. He also predicted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) would enter the presidential contest with a 43 percent unfavorable rating.