Harris Poll Says Giuliani Gaining and McCain Slipping

According to a Harris poll released today, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has widened his lead over United States Senator John McCain, and is now the clear front runner in the race for the Republican presidential nomination for the 2008 election.

Almost one-quarter of Republicans say that they would consider voting for Former Speaker Newt Gingrich.

In February, The Harris Poll(R) showed that support for Giuliani and McCain was fairly close, but this is no longer true. Evidence of Giuliani’s gain includes:

* Over one-third (35%) of adults would now consider voting for him, compared to 29 percent who said so in February. The percentage of those who would consider voting for McCain is unchanged at 26 percent.

* The proportion of Republicans who would consider voting for Giuliani has increased from 58 percent in February to 64 percent. During this time, the proportion of those who would consider voting for McCain has slipped from 46 percent to 42 percent.

* Independents who would consider voting for Giuliani have increased from 27 percent to 34 percent, while the percentage of those who would consider voting for McCain is virtually unchanged at 28 percent.

* When it comes to their first choice for president, 11 percent of all adults (and 28% of Republicans) prefer Giuliani, compared to five percent of adults (and only 11% of Republicans) who choose McCain. Giuliani has gained seven points among Republicans since February, while McCain has lost four points.

This Harris Poll surveyed 2,776 U.S. adults online and was conducted by Harris Interactive(R) between March 1 and 12, 2007. Respondents were able to review the list of all 26 potential candidates to say whom they would consider and prefer. Like all polls conducted well before an election, it should not be read as a prediction. Rather, it is a snap shot of the presidential “horse race,” at a very early stage of the race. A previous column assessed the standing of the leading Democrats(1).

The Poll asks the public questions about current and potential presidential candidates that are slightly different from those asked in most other polls. First, people are asked who on a long list of 26 political leaders they would “consider voting for.” Then they are asked who, of all the listed leaders, “they would most likely vote for.” Unlike some other polls, all adults regardless of their party affiliation are asked about all candidates.

Other Republican Candidates
This Harris Poll also asked about several other Republican leaders, some of whom may run for the Republican nomination. While it seems highly unlikely that he will run, former Secretary of State Colin Powell still enjoys a lot of public support.

Among those who seem more likely to run, the only candidate with a significant following is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; with 29 percent of Republicans saying they would consider voting for him and eight percent picking him as their first choice. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is also on the radar screen, but barely. While 23 percent of Republicans would consider voting for him, only three percent prefer him over the other candidates.

Overall Preference for Democratic and Republican Candidate

The Democrats continue to enjoy a substantial advantage over Republicans, with Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama being “considered” by more people than ex-Mayor Giuliani or Senator McCain. Overall, 69 percent of adults would consider one or more of the Democratic contenders and 59 percent would consider one of the Republicans. And when it comes to their first choice, 43 percent of adults prefer a Democrat, while only 30 percent prefer a Republican.



“Although the U.S. presidential election is not until November, 2008, there are a number of people who may run for president. If you were to vote and had to select from the following candidates, for which of the following people
would you consider voting?”

Base: All Adults

Party ID

Total Republican Democrat Independent
Feb. March Feb. March Feb. March Feb. March
% % % % % % % %
Colin Powell 32 30 51 45 18 17 33 34
Rudy Giuliani 29 35 58 64 12 16 27 34
John McCain 26 26 46 42 13 14 27 28
Rice 19 18 42 38 5 6 16 18
Newt Gingrich 11 11 27 29 1 1 7 7
Elizabeth Dole 10 10 22 20 3 4 10 10
Mitt Romney 7 9 18 23 1 1 6 7
George Pataki 5 5 11 10 1 1 4 4
Mike Huckabee 3 4 7 11 1 1 3 3
Chuck Hagel 3 3 4 5 3 2 3 3
Tom Tancredo 3 3 6 9 * * 3 3
Sam Brownback 2 2 6 6 * * 2 2
Duncan Hunter 2 2 4 6 * * 1 2

Note: Multiple-response question
*Less than 0.5%; “-“No response

“If you could vote for only one candidate, who would you most likely vote

Base: All Adults

Party ID

Total Republican Democrat Independent
Feb. March Feb. March Feb. March Feb. March
% % % % % % % %
Rudy Giuliani 8 11 21 28 2 2 6 7
Colin Powell 6 6 12 12 2 2 6 6
John McCain 6 5 15 11 1 1 5 4
Newt Gingrich 3 3 8 8 1 – 1 2
Rice 3 3 6 7 * 1 2 2
Mitt Romney 1 1 3 3 – – 1 1
Mike Huckabee 1 1 2 2 * * * *
Elizabeth Dole * 1 * 1 * – * *
Tom Tancredo * 1 * 2 * – * *
Sam Brownback * * * 1 * * * *
Duncan Hunter * * * 1 * * * *

*Less than 0.5%; “-“No response
Note: Chuck Hagel and George Pataki were also listed and were chosen by
less than 0.5%
Note: Percentages add to less than 100 percent because this list does not
include Democratic candidate, those with no preferences or who chose
a third party, and those who say they would not vote.


Base: All Adults

Party ID

All Adults Republican Democrat Independent
Feb. March Feb. March Feb. March Feb. March
% % % % % % % %
Would consider
one of the 71 69 41 35 95 94 69 70
listed Democratic
Would consider one of
the listed
Republican leaders 58 59 91 91 35 37 59 60
lst Choice would be
one of the listed
Democratic leaders 45 43 9 8 76 75 38 34
lst Choice would be
one of the listed
Republican leaders 31 30 73 74 7 6 25 24

This Harris Poll(R) was conducted online within the United States between March 1 and 12, 2007 among 2,776 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online.

All surveys are subject to several sources of error. These include: sampling error (because only a sample of a population is interviewed); measurement error due to question wording and/or question order, deliberately or unintentionally inaccurate responses, nonresponse (including refusals), interviewer effects (when live interviewers are used) and weighting.

With one exception (sampling error) the magnitude of the errors that result cannot be estimated. There is, therefore, no way to calculate a finite “margin of error” for any survey and the use of these words should be avoided.

With pure probability samples, with 100 percent response rates, it is possible to calculate the probability that the sampling error (but not other sources of error) is not greater than some number. With a pure probability sample of 2,776 adults one could say with a ninety-five percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- two percentage points. However that does not take other sources of error into account. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

J30279A (March)
Q 492, 494

(1) Harris Poll #23 — Support for Barack Obama Surges, According to The
Harris Poll

The Harris Poll(R) #24, March 16, 2007
By Humphrey Taylor, Chairman, The Harris Poll

About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is the 12th largest and fastest-growing market research firm in the world. The company provides innovative research, insights and strategic advice to help its clients make more confident decisions which lead to measurable and enduring improvements in performance. Harris Interactive is widely known for The Harris Poll, one of the longest running, independent opinion polls and for pioneering online market research methods. The company has built what it believes to be the world’s largest panel of survey respondents, the Harris Poll Online. Harris Interactive serves clients worldwide through its United States, Europe and Asia offices, its wholly-owned subsidiary Novatris in France and through a global network of independent market research firms. The service bureau, HISB, provides its market research industry clients with mixed-mode data collection, panel development services as well as syndicated and tracking research consultation. More information about Harris Interactive may be obtained at www.harrisinteractive.com.

To become a member of the Harris Poll Online and be invited to participate in online surveys, register at www.harrispollonline.com.

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