NEW YORK – While New York Sen. Hillary Clinton remains the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, what would the race look like if — for whatever reason — she were no longer in the running? And without former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the nomination race, which fellow Republican would benefit most? To find out, a recent FOX News Poll on the 2008 presidential election asked voters not only about their top choice candidate, but also about who would be their second choice.
Democratic Primary Nomination
Overall, Sen. Clinton receives the backing of 43 percent of self-identified Democrats, compared with 15 percent for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, 12 percent for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and 11 percent for former Vice President Al Gore. No other candidates reach double-digit support.
If Clinton were out of the running, the results show Obama would benefit the most, as his support increases by 15 percentage points — double his initial vote percentage. The support for Edwards and Gore also increases, with both capturing another 8 points without Clinton in the race.
"Most of the distribution is simply based on name recognition," said Opinion Dynamics Chairman John Gorman. "Senator Clinton is one of the few candidates who has personal, strong support."
Without Obama in the running, the only candidate who really benefits is Clinton. Her percent of the vote increases by 11 points, while Edwards and Gore each gain 2 points.
With Edwards out, Obama gains the most, with an additional 5 percentage points and Clinton gains 3 points.
Republican Primary Nomination
Among self-identified Republicans, Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain continue to lead the pack for their party’s nomination: 34 percent support Giuliani and 22 percent McCain. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich, who is unannounced but is considering a run, captures the third slot with 15 percent.
What happens if top vote getter Giuliani is out of the running? If America’s Mayor is out, McCain takes over the spot as the clear leader among Republicans, gaining 19 percentage points and Gingrich gains 5 points.
Similarly, if McCain were out of the running, Giuliani’s support increases by 11 points and Gingrich’s by 3 points.
If Gingrich decides against running, his supporters divide almost evenly between Giuliani and McCain.
Opinion Dynamics Corporation conducted the national telephone poll of 900 registered voters for FOX News from January 30 to January 31.