Local Politics

Poll: Edwards Fares Best Against GOP Rivals

Posted June 21, 2007 11:44 a.m. EDT
Updated July 11, 2007 5:38 p.m. EDT

— Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards stands the best chance of any Democratic front-runner of carrying North Carolina in the 2008 presidential election, according to a new poll.

Public Policy Polling, a Raleigh group that represents many Democratic clients, surveyed 545 likely voters statewide on June 19. The poll, which has a margin of error of 4.15 percent, shows Edwards as the only leading Democratic candidate to top four GOP candidates if the election were held now.

Edwards and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani were in practically a dead heat, with Edwards capturing 46 percent of support to Giuliani's 45 percent.

Edwards' lead over other Republicans in a hypothetical head-to-head contest is greater. He would beat senator-turned-actor Fred Thompson 47 to 43 percent, U.S. Sen. John McCain 48 to 40 percent and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 51 to 37 percent, according to the poll.

Meanwhile, Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama would lose North Carolina to either Giuliani or Thompson, the poll shows.

Giuliani would top Clinton 47 to 43 percent and Obama 46 to 42 percent, according to the poll, while Thompson would win 46 to 43 percent over Clinton and 45 to 44 percent over Obama.

The poll showed Clinton would beat McCain by 45 to 44 percent and Romney by 47 to 41 percent. Obama would beat Romney by 47 to 43 percent but would narrowly lose to McCain, 45 to 44 percent.

Public Policy Polling also pitted U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Dole against two potential Democratic challengers in next year's election.

Dole would easily defeat Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue 46 to 37 percent and State Treasurer Richard Moore 45 to 34 percent, according to the poll.

Dole had a 48 percent approval rating among voters surveyed, compared to just 37 percent for President George W. Bush.