Giuliani: If He Can Make It There, He'll Make It Anywhere ...

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Rudy Giuliani gives a speech after receiving the Ronald Reagan Freedom Award

He is the Tiger Woods of GOP politics: stand Rudy Giuliani next to anything, and some voters will buy. Impressed by the former New York City mayor’s apparent kingmaking powers after his endorsement helped boost Bill Simon Jr. to a surprising victory in California’s Republican primary for Governor, G.O.P. leaders quietly polled voters in key states last week to gauge Giuliani's broader influence.

Republicans were already aware that Giuliani helped elect media mogul Michael Bloomberg to the Big Apple's top job last fall. But last week's GOP polling revealed that Giuliani is as popular nationwide among Republicans as George W. Bush. And he holds up remarkably well among the moderates and independent voters who will decide most of the close congressional contests coming this fall.

That means even a small helping of Rudy could turn or win late-closing races in key states. And the GOPs new data could help the party decide where to deploy their promising pitchman. Giuliani, whose post–Sept. 11 leadership has landed him a $3 million book deal, a knighthood from the Queen of England and speaking offers galore, is likely to get even more exposure. Expect his face to be a regular in paid TV spots this fall.