Poll: McCain Catches Giuliani in New Jersey, Too

As was the case in New York, John McCain is now giving Rudy Giuliani some stiff competition in New Jersey, with 29 percent of Republican voters favoring McCain and 26 percent favoring Giuliani, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

Hillary Clinton maintains a commanding lead over Barack Obama, 49-32, while John Edwards has 10 percent of the vote among Democrats.

Obama, however, leads Clinton overwhelmingly among black Democrats, 64-27. Clinton leads among women voters.

Full release:

It’s a game of inches in the New Jersey presidential race as Arizona Sen. John McCain gets 29 percent to former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s 26 percent among likely Republican presidential primary voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has 14 percent, with 9 percent each for former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson, who dropped out yesterday. Among Democratic likely primary voters, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton leads Illinois Sen. Barack Obama 49 – 32 percent, with 10 percent for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. This is the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll’s first survey in this election cycle of New Jersey’s likely voters, a more select group than the wider range of registered voters surveyed in prior polls. Sen. Obama leads among black Democratic likely primary voters 62 – 27 percent, while Sen. Clinton leads among whites 54 – 23 percent. Clinton also leads 54 – 28 percent among women and 44 – 36 percent among men.

“With the momentum all in Sen. McCain’s direction, New Jersey Republicans appear to be switching from the hero of 9/11 to the hero of Vietnam,” said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “Mayor Giuliani is fighting for his political life in New Jersey and Sen. McCain could deny him victory in one of the Mayor’s must win states.

“Although Sen. Obama has picked up some strength in New Jersey, Sen. Clinton appears to be maintaining the sizable lead she needs for a Super Tuesday string of victories in her Northeast strongholds,” Richards added.

“Mayor Giuliani is on the receiving end of a one-two punch this week, as this New Jersey poll comes one day after a Quinnipiac University New York State poll found Giuliani and McCain tied at 30 percent each among likely Republican voters,” Richards added. “In a race this close, Sen. Thompson’s 9 percent becomes a critical factor.” A total of 56 percent of Giuliani’s Republican backers say they are “not too likely” or “not likely at all” to change their minds, compared to 43 percent of McCain supporters.

Among Democrats, 74 percent of Clinton supporters and 66 percent of Obama backers say they are not likely to change their minds. “Democratic voters, especially Sen. Clinton’s supporters, tend to be more committed to their candidates than Republicans,” Richards said. From January 15 – 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 398 New Jersey likely Republican primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent, and 464 likely Democratic primary voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.6 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and nationwide as a public service and for research. Poll: McCain Catches Giuliani in New Jersey, Too