by Steven Ertelt
August 30, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll of voters across the nation shows Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani the top Democrat and Republican choices for president in 2008, respectively. Though the poll is likely a measurement of name identification it helps indicate what possible presidential candidates have a credible chance at securing their party’s nomination.
The RT Strategies/Cook Political Report poll found Giuliani and Clinton both polling 32 percent among voters in their own parties.
On the Republican side, Giuliani leads John McCain for the Republican nomination by 32-20%. He is also the most popular second choice pick, at 21-17% over McCain.
Former House leader Newt Gingrich received 10 percent in the poll, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had 8 percent, and the rest of the possible GOP candidates were at 5 percent or lower.
Looking at Republican voters, Giuliani will likely have a difficult time capturing the GOP nod for president because of his pro-abortion views. His high standings are more likely the result of his elevated name identification following his efforts to help New York City following the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Republicans haven’t had a pro-abortion nominee since Gerald Ford in 1976.
Leading pro-abortion presidential candidates in past primaries, such as former California Gov. Pete Wilson or Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter, have fared poorly. Both failed to build traction with pro-life Republican caucus-goers in Iowa and left the campaigns well in advance of other candidates.
Knowing this, the poll asked Republican voters whether they would support Giuliani knowing his position in favor of abortion.
Some 56 percent of registered Republicans said the party should still pick the former mayor.
Pollster Tom Riehle told the New York Daily News, "It’s surprising how low the barrier is for him to get over his issues differences with Republican voters.
But that will likely change when the presidential campaign begins in earnest this time next year and pro-life groups begin educating voters about Giuliani’s pro-abortion position.
On the Democratic, side, Clinton led among all potential candidates, with 32 percent. Former Vice President Al Gore had 19 percent, former Sen. John Edwards had 11 percent, former presidential candidate John Kerry had 9 percent and all other potential candidates had 5 percent or less.
The poll showed 49 percent of Democrats didn’t think she would be able to win the general election.
Riehle said that was a "huge number" and said he asked that question in the poll because so many people perceive Clinton as having the best shot to capture the Democratic nod but not the ability to win the November 2008 election.
The poll also found that Clinton and Giuliani have high positive ratings. Asked to rank the candidates on a scale of 0-100 Giuliani scored a 59.4, while Clinton rates 43.9.
The poll of 1028 American adults was conducted from August 25-27.