Hillary Clinton remains the front-runner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, but a new poll shows that voters are questioning her truthfulness — and she would be in a virtual tie with Rudy Giuliani in a head-to-head match-up.
The Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that by a 50 percent to 35 percent margin, Americans prefer a Democrat to win the White House in 2008.
“But offsetting that demand for change in the presidential contest are reservations about Sen. Clinton’s truthfulness and ideology, even as Americans applaud her experience and leadership qualities,” the Journal reports in an analysis of the poll results.
Clinton’s rivals, both Democratic and Republican, are seeking to exploit the vulnerabilities disclosed by the poll, which was conducted after the debate last week when she faced charges of evasiveness and flip-flopping.
Democrat John Edwards challenged her to remain in “tell-the-truth mode all the time.” And Republican Giuliani attacked Hillary for displaying “the worst of the Clinton years” by refusing to definitively answer questions about her stance on driver’s licenses for illegal aliens.
“If you think a question about driver’s licenses is a tough questions,” Giuliani said in New Hampshire, “you’re not ready for [Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad.”
In a direct match-up, Clinton got 46 percent of the votes in the new poll, while Giuliani was in a virtual dead heat with 45 percent.
The survey of more than 1,500 adults found that a slight 51 percent majority gave Clinton high marks for her knowledge and experience, but she rated negatively on honesty and likeability.
Nevertheless, she led all Democrats with 47 percent of the vote, while Barack Obama received 25 percent and Edwards tallied 11 percent.
Giuliani led the GOP candidates with 33 percent, while John McCain was second with 16 percent, followed by Fred Thompson (15 percent), Mitt Romney (11 percent), and Mike Huckabee (8 percent).
By a margin of 46 percent to 37 percent, voters want the Democrats to retain control of Congress, according to the Journal. But in a possibly ominous sign, the approval rating of the Democratic-controlled Congress has fallen to 19 percent — and 51 percent of Americans say their incumbent member of Congress doesn’t deserve re-election.
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