Giuliani plummets in NBC/Journal poll
By JoAnne Allen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani has fallen 13 points since November and is now tied with Mitt Romney nationally in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Wednesday.
According to the poll, Giuliani and the former Massachusetts governor are tied with 20 percent support among Republican primary voters.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee was in third place with 17 percent support, followed by Arizona Sen. John McCain at 14 percent and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson at 11 percent, the poll found.
Giuliani had been the clear leader in all previous NBC/Journal polls and led the field with 33 percent support in the survey last month.
In the past month, Giuliani's campaign faced more media scrutiny. The campaign also did not put much emphasis on Iowa and New Hampshire, where candidates next month face the first contests in the state-by-state process of determining who will be the Republican and Democratic candidates in the November 2008 presidential election.
According to the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, just 37 percent view Giuliani favorably, compared with an equal 37 percent who have a negative impression of him.
In March, 58 percent viewed Giuliani favorably versus only 14 percent who saw him in a negative light, NBC reported.
Among Democrats, New York Sen. Hillary Clinton held her national lead in the NBC/Journal poll.
According to the survey, 45 percent of Democratic primary voters support Clinton, compared with 23 percent for Illinois Sen. Barack Obama and 13 percent for former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. No other Democratic candidate receives more than 4 percent, NBC reported.
The NBC/Journal poll of 1,008 adults was conducted December 14 to 17 and has an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. The margin of error for the Democratic race is 4.4 percentage points and for the Republican contest, 5.2 percentage points.
A new Washington Post-ABC News Iowa poll, shows Huckabee has the support of 35 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers, just above Romney, who registered 27 percent. For the first time in Post-ABC Iowa polling, no other candidate registered in double digits, the newspaper said.
Huckabee's backing in Iowa has quadrupled since July, driven by a jump in support from women who describe themselves as evangelicals, the Post said.
The telephone poll of 501 Iowa adults likely to attend a Republican caucus was conducted December 13 to 17. The poll has a margin of error of four percentage points.
(Editing by Patricia Zengerle)