NEW YORK – Could the 2008 presidential election come down to a choice between two New Yorkers? It sure looks that way today, as New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani remain the clear front-runners for their respective party’s nominations in the latest FOX News poll. While the leaders remain the same, there has been some re-arranging among the top tier candidates on the Republican side, as Mitt Romney bests John McCain for the first time.
The new poll shows that Clinton holds a double-digit lead over Barack Obama, topping him by 13 percentage points — 38 percent to 25 percent — among Democrats. That’s down slightly from a 16-point edge in July. John Edwards is third and is now in single digits with 8 percent.
Some of the recent squabbling among the Democratic front-runners may be turning off some voters, because despite lots of campaigning and debates, the number of undecided Democratic voters is 15 percent today — double the number that said they were unsure two months ago (7 percent, June 26-27).
Opinion Dynamics Corp. conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from August 21 to August 22. The poll has a 3-point error margin.
When Former Vice President Al Gore is included in the race, the results remain about the same. Gore takes a couple of points from each of the main contenders, but the overall outcome still shows Clinton (35 percent) outdistancing Obama (23 percent). Gore captures 10 percent and Edwards trails with 6 percent.
"As time passes, even hardcore Gore fans are taking his statements about not getting in the race more seriously," said Opinion Dynamics CEO John Gorman. "By next month the window for dark horses to enter either race will pretty much close unless a top candidate takes a huge fall."
Among Republicans, Giuliani receives the backing of 29 percent, which puts him 15 percentage points ahead of his closest competitor — yet-to-announce Fred Thompson at 14 percent. Mitt Romney comes in third with 11 percent and now has the advantage over McCain at 7 percent.
The Arizona Senator’s support has dropped to about half what it was last month, and now he is just 2 percentage points ahead of Newt Gingrich (5 percent). While Gingrich has yet to make a formal announcement about his candidacy, he was recently spending time in Iowa during the straw poll process.
And similar to the Democrats, many Republicans remain undecided. Nearly one in four Republicans (23 percent) say they don’t know which candidate they would vote for if the primary were held today.
Most Americans are unhappy with Washington: a 60 percent majority disapproves of the job Congress is doing and 56 percent disapprove of President Bush’s job performance.
About one of five people (24 percent) say they approve of the job Congress is doing, including 26 percent of Democrats and 23 percent of Republicans.
Approval of Congress was 29 percent in November 2006, right before the mid-term elections. Since the Democrats took control at the beginning of the year, approval has gone as high as 35 percent (April 2007).
And though Republicans are more likely to disapprove of this Congress, they are not alone: 56 percent of Democrats, 62 percent of independents as well as 63 percent of Republicans say they are dissatisfied.
As for President Bush, his approval rating is 33 percent, up one point from 32 percent last month (July 17-18). A 63 percent majority of Republicans approves of Bush, as do 21 percent of independents and 11 percent of Democrats.
Support for New Legislation — A Passengers’ Bill of Rights
Maybe Congress could improve its ratings by passing some legislation Americans think would be useful. By more than two-to-one (57 percent to 24 percent) the public supports passage of an Airline Passengers’ Bill of Rights that would require airlines to provide passengers with things like fresh water and clean bathrooms, as well as possibly the right to exit the airplane when there are flight delays.