Giuliani tops Republican presidential nominees poll

Rudy Giuliani

Online Staff Report

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor, is currently the favored pick for the Republican Party ticket for president, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation national poll.

The poll showed Giuliani earning 16 percent of independents and Republicans, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney at 15 percent; former nominee for Vice President and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 13 percent; U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) at 12 percent; former Federal Reserve banker Herman Cain at 10 percent; former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich at 8 percent; U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) at 7 percent; and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty at 5 percent.

The only candidates included in the poll who have formally announced their candidacy include Romney, Paul, Cain, Gingrich and Pawlenty.

U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), a close friend of Giuliani’s, was quoted as saying Giuliani was “very close to saying he’s going to run.”

Giuliani will also be headed to New Hampshire next week for a series of events. New Hampshire is home to the nation’s first primary election, and is viewed as the starting line for presidential primary campaigns.

Meantime, Palin has launched a bus tour that will take her to New Hampshire for the first time since the 2008 race.

Commenting on the poll, CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said: “Giuliani has the top spot in a 12-candidate field, but he doesn’t generate a lot of enthusiasm. Only about a quarter of Republicans nationwide said that they would be enthusiastic if Giuliani won the nomination. But he’s not alone—only a quarter would be enthusiastic if Palin got the party’s nod, and only one in five would feel the same way if Romney became the GOP’s standard bearer in 2012.”

In the 2008 election, Giuliani was also the front-runner in nearly every poll leading up to the Iowa caucuses. However, his strategy of skipping the early states and focusing his efforts in delegate-rich Florida appeared to backfire. He finished fourth in New Hampshire and third in Florida, ultimately endorsing eventual candidate U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

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