NEW YORK, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Former New York City Mayor Rudy
Giuliani is the leading Republican candidate for the 2008 nomination,
surging ahead of Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt
Romney, the latest Newsweek Poll shows. And in various potential match-ups
for the election, top candidates polled very closely among registered
When asked about the race for the Republican Party's nomination, among
registered Republicans, in a head-to-head contest, Giuliani tops McCain,
59-to 34 percent, the poll shows. In the January 25-25 Newsweek Poll,
Giuliani's lead over McCain was four points (48% to 44%), a statistical tie
with the four-point margin of error. And if the choice were between
Giuliani and Romney, 70 percent say they'd choose Giuliani; 20 percent
would choose Romney. If the choice were between McCain and Romney, 59
percent say they'd like to see McCain nominated; 26 percent say Romney.
In various potential match-ups for the 2008 presidential election,
Giuliani polled to virtual ties against some of the Democratic candidates
among registered voters. For Democrat Hillary Clinton versus Giuliani,
Giuliani beats Clinton 47 to 46 percent; against former Sen. John Edwards,
Giuliani gets 47 percent v. 45 percent for Edwards. When pitted against
Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, the gap opens: 48 percent for Giuliani v. 43
percent for Obama. The margin of error for this poll is plus or minus 3
And 82 percent of registered Republicans say a candidate's marital
history is not an important consideration for them. Giuliani has been
married three times and 75 percent of registered Republicans, and 74
percent of social conservatives, say that doesn't matter to them when
considering whether or not to support him for the presidential nomination.
In a match-up of Clinton v. McCain, Clinton leads McCain 47- to 46
percent among registered voters. Obama tops McCain, 45-to 43 percent, and
Edwards beats McCain, 48- to 43 percent, the poll shows. In a match-up of
Clinton v. Romney, Clinton wins 53-to 38 percent among registered voters.
Obama beats Romney, 54- to 34 percent and Edwards beats Romney, 58- to 30
percent, the poll shows.
When asked about the race for the Democratic Party's nomination, if the
choice were between Clinton and Obama, 52 percent of registered Democrats
say they'd like to see Clinton nominated; 38 percent say Obama. Obama has
gained slightly against Clinton since the January 24-25 Newsweek Poll, when
Clinton was ahead 55- 35 percent. If the choice were between Clinton or
Edwards, 63 percent choose Clinton v. 32 percent for Edwards. If the choice
for the nomination were between Obama and Edwards, 49 percent say they'd
choose Obama and 42 percent would choose Edwards, the poll shows.
In deciding which Republican presidential candidate to support in 2008,
20 percent of registered Republicans say the war in Iraq is most important
to them, followed by the economy (18%), issues like abortion, guns and
same-sex marriage (14%) taxes and government spending (12%) health care
(12%) and terrorism (11%).
Still, most registered Republicans are not familiar with Giuliani's
positions on key social issues: 34 percent of all Republican voters polled
and 38 percent of social conservatives are aware he is pro-choice on
abortion. And 51 percent of all Republican voters and 49 percent of social
conservatives aren't sure where he stands on the issue. On gun control,
just 17 percent of all Republican voters polled and 19 percent of social
conservatives are aware he's a supporter of gun control. Sixty-seven
percent of Republican voters polled (66% of social conservatives) aren't
sure of his stand. And 16 percent of all Republican voters polled and 15
percent of social conservatives are aware that Giuliani opposes a
constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage; (70% overall and
72% of social conservatives aren't aware of his position).
When asked about whether Giuliani's views on these same issues would be
enough to prevent them from supporting him, few registered Republicans
voters said it would. When told Giuliani supports Roe v. Wade, 29 percent
of all Republican voters polled and 40 percent of social conservatives say
it would make them less likely to support him. On Giuliani's opposition to
an amendment that bans same-sex marriage, 25 percent of all Republican
voters polled and 32 percent of social conservatives say that would make
them less likely to support him. And on Giuliani's support of new laws
requiring all gun owners in the U.S. to be licensed, 20 percent of all
Republican voters polled and 22 percent of social conservatives say it
would make them less likely to support him.
President Bush's job-approval rating increased one point from the
January 24-25 Newsweek Poll to 31 percent, the current poll shows. Just 27
percent approve of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq and 43
percent approve of Bush's handling of terrorism and homeland security; 50
percent disapprove. And 51 percent disapprove of the way Dick Cheney is
handling his job as vice president.
This poll is part of the March 12 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands
Monday, March 5). For this Newsweek Poll, Princeton Survey Research
Associates interviewed 1,202 adults, aged 18 and older on February 28-March
1, 2007. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.