Quinnipiac: dead heat between McCain, Giuliani; Clinton leads by 17 points

John McCain and Rudy Giuliani are in a statistical dead heat in New Jersey, and Hillary Clinton holds a 17 point lead for the February 5 presidential primary, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning. McCain leads Giuliani 29%-26%, with Mitt Romney at 14% and Mike Huckabee at 9%. Fred Thompson had 9%.

Clinton, who will make stops in Hackensack and North Bergen today, leads Barack Obama, 49%-32%. John Edwards gets 10% of the likely Democratic vote. Among Black voters, Obama leads 62%-27%, while Clinton leads among women 44%0-36%.

“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. Quinnipiac: dead heat between McCain, Giuliani; Clinton leads by 17 points