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New L.A. Times/Bloomberg Poll

June 11, 2007 |  4:30 am

John McCain's presidential candidacy clearly is struggling, and a just-completed Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll is not going to buoy his camp's spirits.

We won't reveal the exact numbers here; for that, you can check The Times website later today later today for all the numbers and analysis. But here's the bad news for McCain in a nutshell: Not only do Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson enjoy more support among GOP-leaning voters, but the Arizona senator finds himself in heated competition with the "Don't Know" category.

The survey won't hearten Mitt Romney, either. He's risked the dreaded "flip-flopper" label to tack hard to the right in hopes of emerging as the choice of conservatives. But the poll found little evidence that this is happening. Indeed, when the candidate field is de-littered and Republican-leaners are asked to pick among the Big Four — Giuliani, McCain, Romney and Thompson — the latter easily carries the conservative bloc.

On the Democratic side of the ledger, the race remains stuck in place: Hillary Clinton is the party's solid favorite; Barack Obama runs a solid, but clearly distant, second.

One piece of good news for Obama: When all registered voters are presented with various general election matchups, an "electability" argument emerges for the Illinois senator, compared to Clinton.

The poll will not be welcomed by John Edwards. His showing among Democratic-leaning voters appears to raise the question of whether he should be considered a "top tier" contender.

— Don Frederick

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