Polling '08: Good news and bad news for Clinton

She leads among Democrats but trails the three leading Republican contenders.

By Tim Grieve

Published June 12, 2007 1:24PM (EDT)

We don't pick presidents -- and we really don't pick presidential nominees -- through nationwide elections, but a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll provides an interesting snapshot of the 2008 race anyway.

Rudy Giuliani leads the pack among Republican voters at 27 percent. Fred Thompson, who's not officially in the race, checks in second at 21 percent. John McCain and Mitt Romney bring in the rear of the top tier at 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton leads with 33 percent, followed by Barack Obama at 22 percent and not-running Al Gore at 15 percent. John Edwards lags behind the pack with support from just 8 percent of the Democrats polled.

The catch for Clinton: Electability. In a generic, Democrat vs. Republican presidential matchup, the Democrat wins by eight points. But when the Democratic candidate is Hillary Clinton, the Times poll suggests -- at this moment in time, at least -- that the next president of the United States could be a Republican: Giuliani leads Clinton by 10 percentage points; McCain leads Clinton by four percentage points; and Romney leads Clinton by two percentage points.

The McCain vs. Clinton and Romney vs. Clinton leads are within the poll's margin of error, but they still stand in pretty sharp contrast with what the poll found with respect to Barack Obama. In one-on-one matchups, Obama leads Giuliani by five percentage points, McCain by 12 points and Romney by 16 points.

As for Edwards? The poll has him thumping Romney, five points behind McCain and three points ahead of Giuliani.

Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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