New California poll finds Rudy's support falls 10 points
A new Field Poll out today finds that Rudy Giuliani has lost a sizable chunk of his lead over other Republicans in the race for California's primary voters, while so-called second-tier candidates like Mike Huckabee, Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo show an increased combined strength.
In the poll of 1,201 registered voters, 432 of them registered Republicans, Giuliani reaps 25%, down from 35% in August. Mitt Romney is still second with 13%, down from 14%. John McCain has jumped from 9% two months ago to 12% today, tied with newcomer Fred Thompson, who had 13% in August.
Huckabee and Paul both got 4%, up from 1% each. Tancredo is holding at 3%, while Hunter went from 2% to 3%. Undecideds also went from 20% to 22%. Combined, the second-tier wannabes now collect 14%, twice their August support, showing how unsettled the GOP field remains as the winter primary season and California's Feb. 5 election date fast approaches.
Giuliani and McCain do noticeably better in Northern California. Women prefer Giuliani 27% compared to 23% for men. Voters 50 and over also seem to prefer Giuliani.
Interestingly, among self-identified strong conservatives, Giuliani leads Romney narrowly, 24% to 20%. Among moderates and liberals, the gap for Giuliani is 26% to 7% for Romney.
McCain runs third in the new poll, at 15%, followed by Paul (7%), Huckabee (6%) and Thompson (5%).
The outlook is better for Giuliani in a new poll in Florida -- the state his campaign views as a "firewall" protecting him from harsh political consequences if he should lose the opening contests in Iowa and/or New Hampshire.
The new survey shows Giuliani, at 30%, easily leading the GOP pack. McCain and Thompson are tied for second, with 14%, while Romney run fourth (12%).
-- Andrew Malcolm