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Poll: Clinton vs. Giuliani in 2008

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Rudy Giuliani is the favorite for the Republican Party's 2008 presidential nomination.

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(CNN) -- If the results of a recent poll pan out, voters will see two big names from New York on the ballot in November 2008.

Those names are Democrat Hillary Clinton, the state's junior U.S. senator, and Republican Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York City.

The CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll released Thursday indicated Clinton and Giuliani were the early favorites to win their respective party's nomination.

But those polled said they believe the former first lady would have a smoother path to the nomination than her GOP counterpart.

Conducted December 9-11, the telephone poll asked 393 registered voters who described themselves as Republicans and 446 registered voters who described themselves as Democrats who they were most likely to support in their respective primaries.

The survey had a sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Clinton snared the majority of the Democratic voters polled. And with more than two years before the primaries, she was ahead of her two nearest potential competitors by nearly 30 percentage points.

Giuliani, on the other hand, edged out Sen. John McCain of Arizona by only 8 percentage points, 30-22.

Another 18 percent of those polled selected Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, despite her repeated assertion that she has no plans to run.

Bringing up the rear on the GOP side were Sen. George Allen, of Virginia, 7 percent; Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee, 3 percent; Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 3 percent; and Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, 2 percent.

The remaining 15 percent of Republicans polled said they would support someone else.

Clinton was the favorite of 43 percent of the Democrats polled. Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina -- the party's candidates in 2004 -- each had 14 percent.

Eight percent of the Democrats polled selected Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware; 3 percent chose Virginia Gov. Mark Warner; another 3 percent picked New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; 1 percent opted for Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana; and 1 percent favored Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack.

The remaining 13 percent of Democrats polled said they would support another candidate.

The 2008 presidential race could be the most wide-open contest in more than five decades.

With President Bush unable to seek another term and Vice President Dick Cheney insisting he won't run to succeed him, the table is set for the first race since 1952 in which neither a sitting president nor a vice president is on the ballot.

In that race, Republican Dwight Eisenhower defeated Democrat Adlai Stevenson by a landslide electoral vote of 442 to 89.

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