2007_02_giuliani5.jpgFormer Mayor Rudy Giuliani got good and bad news from the Quinnipiac Poll. The good news: He beats Senator Hillary Clinton, 48% to her 43% in a national poll conducted last week. The bad news: It's still over 18 months to go until Election 2008.

Quinnipiac drilled down to the red, blue and purple state level: Giuliani beats Clinton 55-38 in states that voted Republican in the 2004 election. Interestingly, he ties her 46-46 in the blue states, while it's close in "purple states" (where the "margin in 2004 was less than 7%) - Giuliani has 44% while Clinton has 45%. Here are some more matchups:

- Senator John McCain edges Clinton, 46 - 44 percent
- Clinton tops former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 49 - 37 percent;
- Giuliani beats Illinois Sen. Barack Obama 47 - 40 percent;
- Giuliani tops 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards 48 - 40 percent;
- McCain ties Obama 43 - 43 percent;
- McCain gets 43 percent to Edward's 42 percent, a tie;
- Obama tops Romney 49 - 29 percent;
- Edwards beats Romney 48 - 32 percent.

Giuliani would win a Republican primary with 40% of Republican primary voters supporting him over McCain who would get just 18%, while Clinton would win a primary with 38% over Obama (23%). Furthermore, the Quinnipiac poll shows that Giuliani has the highest favorability rating of all candidates, with 57%, which Clinton has 46%, McCain has 51% and Obama has 44% (notably, 40% don't know enough about Obama to form an opinion.

Yesterday, Mayor Giuliani was campaigning in South Carolina. On the news last night, WNBC's Melissa Russo noted something unusual: While the crowds were very friendly to Giuliani, even reporters (from Southern papers) asked Giuliani to take pictures with him.

Photograph of former Mayor Giuliani stumping with first responders in South Carolina by Mary Ann Chastain/AP