Until now, most national polls have shown Giuliani with a measurable if declining hold on first place. Both the CNN and CBS News-New York Times polls have him and Huckabee essentially tied for the No. 1 spot nationally.
Just last month in the CNN survey, Giuliani had 28 percent and Huckabee 10 percent; in the CBS News-New York Times poll in October, it was Giuliani 29 percent, Huckabee 4 percent. By strong margins in the CNN survey, Giuliani is seen as most electable, likeliest to unite the country and with the best experience. Huckabee is now even with him as most believable and best representing Republicans' views.
The CBS-Times poll finds only 23 percent of GOP voters say they have made up their minds. Only 13 percent consider Huckabee the most electable Republican candidate.
On the Democratic side, Clinton was up by 19 points in the CNN poll a month ago and by 28 points in the CBS-Times poll from October. In the CNN poll, she is still viewed as most electable and with the best experience, but tied with Obama for most believable and likeliest to unite the country. Obama is considered least likely to act like a typical politician if elected. In the CBS-Times survey, more of Clinton's than Obama's supporters back their candidate strongly, yet more than half say they may change their minds. And while 44 percent said Bill Clinton's support for his wife make them likelier to support her, only 1 percent say Oprah Winfrey's campaigning for Obama makes them likelier to back him.
The CNN-Opinion Research Corp. telephone poll was conducted from Dec. 6-9. It included 377 registered Republicans, for whom the margin of sampling error was plus or minus 5 percentage points, and 467 registered Democrats, for whom the margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4.5 points.
The CBS News-New York Times telephone poll was conducted from Dec. 5-9. It included interviews with 266 voters who said they would vote in the Republican primary for a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 6 percentage points, and 417 Democratic primary voters with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 points.
THE NUMBERS - DEMOCRATS, CNN
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 40 percent
Barack Obama, 30 percent
John Edwards, 14 percent
DEMOCRATS, CBS NEWS-NEW YORK TIMES
Hillary Rodham Clinton, 44 percent
Barack Obama, 27 percent
John Edwards, 11 percent
Rudy Giuliani, 24 percent
Mike Huckabee, 22 percent
Mitt Romney, 16 percent
John McCain, 13 percent
Fred Thompson, 10 percent
Ron Paul, 6 percent
REPUBLICANS, CBS NEWS-NEW YORK TIMES
Rudy Giuliani, 22 percent
Mike Huckabee, 21 percent
Mitt Romney, 16 percent
John McCain, 7 percent
Fred Thompson, 7 percent
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