senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is popular within her party
but could have trouble winning the presidency,
according to a poll that also identified potential
hurdles within the GOP for former New York mayor Rudy
Giuliani. The former first lady held a double-digit lead
over possible rivals in the survey released Thursday
by Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion.
Clinton, who has taken steps suggesting a 2008
bid, had the support of 33% of Democrats to 14% for
former senator John Edwards. Former Vice President Al
Gore was at 13% and Sen. Barack Obama 12%. Other Democrats
were in single digits.
Still, Clinton remains a polarizing figure, with
47% of registered voters saying they would
definitely not consider voting for her. Twenty-five
percent said they definitely would consider voting for her,
while 28% said they would possibly consider it.
Giuliani and Sen. John McCain of Arizona led the
Republican field, with 24% favoring Giuliani and 23%
backing McCain. Giuliani and McCain each led Clinton,
49% to 43%.
But when Republicans were informed that Giuliani
is "a pro-choice, pro-gun control, pro-gay rights
Republican," 47% said those traditionally liberal
positions would be a major factor in determining how
they voted, while just 22% said they would not be a factor.
Conservative voters hold considerable sway in the Republican
"For Hillary, it is: She is acceptable to
Democrats, but is she electable?" said Marist's Lee
Miringoff. "For Rudy, he's electable; but is he
acceptable to Republicans deciding the nomination?"
The poll of 967 registered voters was conducted
November 27-December 3 and has a sampling error
margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. (Marc