Friday, April 20, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Tops All Others in New Jersey Poll

Friday, April 20, 2007 12:18 a.m. EDT
Rudy Giuliani Tops All Others in New Jersey Poll

New Jersey hasn't supported a Republican for president for nearly 20 years, but a new poll released Thursday shows former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani leading all presidential challengers in New Jersey.

The Quinnipiac University poll found the Republican with similar leads over the three leading Democratic presidential candidates.

Giuliani leads New York Sen. Hillary Clinton 49 percent to 40 percent, the poll found. He leads Illinois Sen. Barack Obama 48 percent to 38 percent, and 2004 vice presidential candidate John Edwards 48 percent to 41 percent.

New Jersey hasn't supported a Republican for president since 1988.

"It makes no difference who the Democrats put up — Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or John Edwards — former Mayor Giuliani continues to knock out all challengers in the New Jersey presidential race," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

The poll found other Republicans wouldn't fare so well in the Garden State, although Arizona Sen. John McCain was running about even with the leading Democrats, trailing Clinton by 4 points, Obama by 2 points and Edwards by 1 point.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney trails Clinton by 19 points, Obama by 24 points and Edwards by 25 points, according to the poll.

"The good news for Sen. Clinton is that for the first time, she is now the clear favorite over a weakened Sen. John McCain in New Jersey and her favorability rating is up slightly," Richards said.

Giuliani leads a New Jersey Republican primary with 49 percent, down from 58 percent March 1, followed by McCain with 18 percent, compared to 15 percent March 1. Former U.S. senator and "Law & Order" actor Fred Thompson gets 6 percent, with 5 percent for Romney and 4 percent for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Giuliani has lost some support among Republicans, but no other member of his party comes close to challenging him for the GOP nomination in New Jersey," Richards said.
Clinton leads a New Jersey Democratic primary with 38 percent, followed by Obama with 16 percent, former Vice President Al Gore with 12 percent, Edwards with 9 percent and Delaware Sen. Joseph Biden with 3 percent.

Clinton was recently endorsed by Gov. Corzine and several other leading New Jersey Democrats. Corzine recently signed a law moving New Jersey's presidential primary to Feb. 5, grouping it among the first states to hold primaries in 2008. The poll found that New Jersey voters approve of the change, 54 percent to 19 percent, but only 37 percent said the earlier date will make them more likely to vote in the primary.

The poll surveyed 1,424 voters from April 10 to 16. It included 460 Republicans with a sampling margin of error of 4.6 percent and 504 Democrats with a sampling error margin of 4.4 percent.
© 2007 Associated Press.

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