Clinton, Giuliani Top 2008 Presidential Nomination Polls

by Jeffrey M. Jones

More Americans say they want to see Clinton elected president in 2008

GALLUP NEWS SERVICE

PRINCETON, NJ -- A new Gallup Poll finds Hillary Clinton with a wide lead over other 2008 Democratic presidential nomination hopefuls among Democrats nationwide, while Rudy Giuliani has a slight lead over John McCain on the Republican side among rank-and-file Republicans. Most Americans apparently have not given much thought to the 2008 election yet -- nearly half do not provide a name when asked separately whom they would most like to see elected president. Clinton is mentioned most often in response to this open-ended question.

The Nominations

The June 1-4 poll finds 36% of Democratic registered voters saying they will most likely support Clinton for the party's nomination in 2008. Al Gore, the 2000 Democratic nominee who has said he does not plan to seek national office again but has not completely ruled out a bid, is second with 16%. The two members of the 2004 Democratic ticket, presidential candidate John Kerry and his running mate John Edwards, are the other candidates who currently register double-digit support, just below Gore.

Support for Potential 2008 Democratic Presidential Nominees, Among Democrats and Democratic-Leaning Independents Who Are Registered to Vote

2006 Jun 1-4

Democrats/Democratic
leaners

Democrats only
(no leaners)

%

%

Hillary Rodham Clinton

36

37

Al Gore

16

16

John Edwards

12

13

John Kerry

11

12

Wesley Clark

4

3

Joe Biden

4

3

Russ Feingold

3

3

Mark Warner

2

2

Tom Daschle

*

*

Tom Vilsack

--

--

Other

3

2

None

2

3

All/any

*

1

No opinion

5

5

Giuliani and McCain are closely matched in the Republican contest, with 29% of Republican registered voters supporting Giuliani and 24% supporting McCain. Those are the only two potential candidates with support higher than 10%. Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich is favored by 8%, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by 6%, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist by 6%. Five percent support Virginia Sen. George Allen.

Giuliani's standing is enhanced by the fact that independent-leaning Republicans are more likely to favor him than McCain (by a 34% to 20% margin). Giuliani's 29% to 24% lead among Republicans and Republican leaners shrinks to 27% to 25% among the smaller group of Republican identifiers.

Support for Potential 2008 Republican Presidential Nominees, Among Republicans and Republican-Leaning Independents Who Are Registered to Vote

2006 Jun 1-4

Republicans/Republican
leaners

Republicans only
(no leaners)

%

%

Rudy Giuliani

29

27

John McCain

24

25

Newt Gingrich

8

7

Mitt Romney

6

6

Bill Frist

6

7

George Allen

5

6

Sam Brownback

2

2

Mike Huckabee

2

2

George Pataki

1

2

Other

3

2

None

4

5

All/any

1

1

No opinion

9

9

Since November 2004, Gallup has measured partisans' presidential nomination preferences five times. The list of candidates included each time has evolved as speculation about candidates' intentions has changed. Regardless of who has been included in the list of Democrats, Clinton has held a wide lead each time Gallup has asked the Democratic ballot. McCain and Giuliani have been close each time among Republicans, though Giuliani has typically held a slight advantage. Some other polls have shown McCain as the leader over Giuliani during this time, underscoring the closeness of the race between the two to this point.

Preferred President

Preceding the standard closed-ended nomination questions on the June 1-4 survey, Gallup asked respondents to say whom they would most like to see elected president in 2008. The question was asked in an open-ended format, so respondents could give any name that occurred to them, including those who are not eligible to seek the presidency such as George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most who provided a name did give the name of a candidate who is both eligible to run and is believed to be considering a bid for the presidency. Hillary Clinton's name was mentioned most often, by 14% of respondents, followed by John McCain at 8%.

Thinking ahead to the election for president in 2008, who would you most like to see elected president? (OPEN-ENDED)

2006 Jun 1-4

National
adults

Democrats

Independents

Republicans

%

%

%

%

Hillary Rodham Clinton

14

25

10

4

John McCain

8

3

11

9

George W. Bush

3

--

3

7

A Democrat (non-specific)

3

7

1

*

Al Gore

2

5

2

*

Condoleezza Rice

2

*

2

5

Colin Powell

2

*

3

2

Rudy Giuliani

2

1

2

2

John Kerry

2

4

*

--

A Republican (non-specific)

2

--

1

4

Mitt Romney

1

--

1

3

Barack Obama

1

1

2

*

George Allen

1

--

*

3

Bill Clinton

1

2

--

*

John Edwards

1

1

*

--

Joe Biden

*

1

1

--

Mark Warner

*

1

*

--

Russ Feingold

*

1

*

--

Bill Frist

*

--

--

1

Dick Cheney

*

--

*

1

Howard Dean

*

*

1

--

Newt Gingrich

*

--

*

1

Other

8

6

9

9

No one

5

5

6

5

No opinion

40

36

43

42

Preferences vary by partisanship. Twenty-five percent of Democrats specifically mention Clinton, while Gore is next at 5%, and Kerry at 4%. Nine percent of Republicans mention McCain, while 7% say Bush and 5% say Condoleezza Rice. Only 2% of Republicans mention Giuliani's name. Among independents, 11% mention McCain and 10% Clinton.

All told, 25% of Americans mention a Democratic candidate (including generic mentions of "a Democrat") as their preferred president and 24% mention a Republican candidate (including generic mentions of "a Republican").

Fifty-one percent of Democrats mention the name of a Democratic politician, while 44% of Republicans mention a person aligned with the GOP. Five percent of Republicans and 4% of Democrats mention someone from the opposing party. Independents are more likely to name a Republican (27%) than a Democrat (17%).

Party of
preferred
president

All
Americans

Democrats

Independents

Republicans

%

%

%

%

Democrat

25

51

17

5

Republican

24

4

27

44

Other

5

4

6

4

No name given

45

41

50

47

Survey Methods

These results are based on telephone interviews with a randomly selected national sample of 1,002 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted June 1-4, 2006. For results based on this sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum error attributable to sampling and other random effects is ±3 percentage points. In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For results based on the sample of 419 Republicans or Republican leaners who are registered to vote, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points.

For results based on the sample of 447 Democrats or Democratic leaners, the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5 percentage points.

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