New poll out; Fred closing on Rudy
As far as American voters are concerned, former senator Fred Thompson is already in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And he's closing on Rudy Giuliani. The former mayor got 27% in the new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg Poll being released momentarily. But weeks before his expected announcment Thompson's already got 21%.
With John McCain trailing badly at 12% and Mitt Romney at 10.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton holds strong at 33%, followed by Barack Obama at 22. Al Gore, who has not entered the race, is at 15%, almost twice what John Edwards has (8%).
One interesting finding of the poll...
...was that Obama is the strongest Democrat in hypothetical general elections matchups with Republicans. Younger voters especially like Obama and he runs roughly even with Clinton among more affluent and educated voters.
In general election matchups, top Democrats and Republicans run roughly even, except Giuliani defeats Clinton 49-39 and Romney loses by double-digits to Obama and Edwards. Obama beats McCain 47-35.
McCain continues to show lasting troubles among conservative Republicans with one in four saying they wouldn't vote for him under any circumstances. Though showing poorly in national polls, Romney is ahead or running well in individual state poills like Iowa, which could provide invaluable momentum if he wins there.
For Michael Finnegan's complete story, go here.
— Andrew Malcolm