Clinton, McCain Lead in National CNN Poll

Sat. January 12, 2008 12:00 AM by

Washington, D.C. - New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Arizona Senator John McCain lead in a new national poll released Friday by CNN/Opinion Research Group. The poll, taken after the New Hampshire primary, shows McCain with 34 percent of registered Republicans. On the Democratic side, Clinton leads with a healthy percentage over Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

Hillary Clinton, riding on a positive wave of increased support after her surprising win in New Hampshire, took the lead in a national poll of registered Democratic voters. The poll, conducted after the New Hampshire primary and released on Friday, shows Clinton leading her closest competitor, Barack Obama, 49 percent to 36 percent. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards follows in third at 12 percent in the poll with Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich in a distant fourth at 1 percent.

Clinton's meteoric win in New Hampshire, contrary to all the polls taken just previous to the primary, appears to have boosted her support across the country. In a CNN/Opinion Research Group poll taken in December, Clinton led by only 10 points, 40 percent to 30 percent for Obama.

"Clinton has re-established herself as the Democratic front-runner, especially among Democratic women," CNN senior political analyst Bill Schneider said.

More than half of the registered Democrat voters in the latest poll believe Clinton is the most likely person to win the Democratic presidential nomination.

"Clinton is also seen by Democrats nationwide as more likely to have a clear plan for the economy, Iraq and health care. A potential Clinton victory also generates more enthusiasm among Democrats than the prospects of Obama winning the party's nod," CNN polling director Keating Holland said.

Among Republicans, John McCain followed his win in New Hampshire with a impressive 21 point rise in the CNN/Opinion Research Group poll from December. McCain now leads former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee 34 percent to 21 percent. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, previously the frontrunner in the poll, now only holds 19 percent, a drop of 6 points from the December poll.

"Giuliani has lost the 'inevitability factor.' Back in October, half of all Republicans nationwide said that he was most likely to win the nomination. Now that is down to 15 percent. McCain is now seen as the most likely GOP nominee—45 percent feel that way about him, up from 13 percent in October," Holland said.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney holds fourth place in the latest poll with 14 percent, former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson in fifth with 6 percent, Texas Representative Ron Paul in sixth with 5 percent and California Representative Duncan Hunter in last with 1 percent.

More than a third of those polled in the survey stated the economy would be the most important determining factor in who they decide to vote for in the November elections.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll was conducted January 9-10 and surveyed 1,033 registered voters. The overall margin of error in the poll was plus or minus 3 percent.

Written By Ann Turner

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