ALBANY, N.Y. – While Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton (search) and Republican Rudolph Giuliani (search) are their party's top picks for the 2008 presidential nominations, both remain highly polarizing figures, according to a national poll released Friday.
Forty percent of Democrats polled said they favored Clinton, the New York senator, for the party's nomination while 18 percent opted for Democratic Sen. John Kerry (search) of Massachusetts, the loser of the 2004 presidential race.
Fourteen percent wanted former Sen. John Edwards, Kerry's 2004 running mate, according to the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.
Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, was favored by 25 percent of Republican voters for the 2008 GOP nomination with Sen. John McCain of Arizona at 20 percent and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent.
None of the often mentioned other potential contenders in either party managed to get into double digits in the poll. New York Gov. George Pataki, for instance, was favored by just 2 percent of GOP voters nationally.
The partisan polarization was evident for both Clinton and Giuliani, said Lee Miringoff, head of the Poughkeepsie, N.Y.-based polling institute.
While 72 percent of Democrats said they would like the former first lady to run for the White House in 2008, 76 percent of Republicans said they did not. Conversely, 71 percent of Republicans said Giuliani should run while 64 percent of Democrats said he should not.
Miringoff said McCain and Edwards both run better against the top opposition than do Giuliani and Clinton. For instance, McCain leads Clinton by 50 percent to 42 percent, but Giuliani gets just 47 percent to Clinton's 46 percent.
"They don't have that polarization that Hillary and Rudy have," the independent pollster said.
Marist's telephone poll of 838 registered voters was conducted April 18-21 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.