Front runner for the GOP nomination, at this very early date, Rudy Giuliani, is seeing a slight slip in his poll numbers. At the current time the former NYC Mayor holds 31.3% of the voters preference for the GOP nod, which is down from 38% one month ago, and 36.9% on 3/25. Factors involved in this slippage could be disaffection with his many marriages, the “Kehrik Connection” and possibly rumblings of a Gingrich and Fred Thompson entry. However, he still holds a sizeable 12% lead over Sen. John McCain, whose freefall since early February when he was at 26.4%, has somewhat recovered and stabalized to 19.3%. Newt Gingrich has consistently run at about 9%, and Mitt Romney has failed to gain any traction at this point, although he has rasied a good deal of cash, but in the other numbers he is lagging well behind at 7.5%.
In the two first caucas states, Iowa and New Hampshire, Mr. Giuliani (24.8%) holds a slim 2.5% over Sen. McCain (22.3%). Former Gov. Romney although he fares better than in the national polls (11.5%) is still fairly far behind the pack, doing only slightly better than Fred Thompson (8.8%) who is not even in the race at this point. Rudy leads in NH by an even slimmer 1.7% (28%) to Sen. McCain’s 26.3%. Gov. Romeny does better with a semi “home court advantage, and comes in at 18.7%. Former Sen. Thompson is not included in this polls.
For the Democrats, Sen. Clinton (33.7%) leads all runners by about 10%, with Sen. Obama (23%) trailing her and former Sen. Edwards (14.8) and VP Gore (14.5 althought he has not announced he’s running). Ifthe former VP does make a go, it will send shock waves through the race, as his name recognition, and his appeal as an “Elder Statesman” give his campaign instant viability. Likewise if he opts to not run, it will be interesting to see where his support breaks.
The interesting situation develops in Iowa, where former Sen. Edwards (30.3%) has a slight lead over all the candidates, but former VP Gore is not considered. Sen. Clinton (26.8%) and Obama (19.8%) trail closely behind. In NH, Sen. Clinton (31.3%) leads the field by a comfortable margin over Sen. Barack (22.8%) and Mr. Edwards (20%). If Sen. Edwards can stay in the hunt and does well in Iowa, it would be interesting to see if that has any influence upon Iowa. At this moment, the Democratic campaign seems a bit more in flux than the GOP.
In a national head to head preview, Rudy Giuliani bests all the Democratic rivals by a range of 3% to 5%. Sen. McCain edges out Sen. Clinton and Sen. Obama, but is bested by less than 1% by Mr. Edwards. All in all this week’s winner would have to be Mr. Edwards. It seems that Sen. Clinton is an extremely polarizing candidate, and Sen. Obama’s campaign, although viable, continues to plateau. While there is little movement in the numbers for Mr. Edwards, it seems that if former VP Gore is out of the picture, his votes break towards the former Senator, and Mr. Edwards seems from the relatively strong showings in Iowa and in national numbers to do better among crossover voters than Clinton. Perhaps it is that Mr. Edwards is viewed more a “Blue Dog” than the other Democratic candidates.