McCain leads Republican field in Calif.

Jan. 15, 2008 at 1:13 PM
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- The first poll of California voters since the New Hampshire primary puts Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the lead as the Republican presidential choice.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., continues to hold a strong lead over her Senate colleague, Barack Obama of Illinois, 47 percent to 31 percent. John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, trails the two frontrunners with only 10 percent in the Los Angeles Times/CNN/Opinion Research poll.

One-fifth of the Republican voters questioned prefer McCain, while 16 percent support former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 14 percent former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and 13 percent Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas. Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson was the choice of only 6 percent, trailing the maverick libertarian congressman, Ron Paul, R-Texas, who had 8 percent.

The poll surveyed 1,054 registered voters with 384 saying they are likely to vote in the Democratic primary and 255 in the Republican contest. The sampling error was 5 percent for Democrats and 6 percent for Republicans.

While the split among the four top Republicans fell within the margin of error, the poll shows the resurgence in McCain's campaign and the slippage in Giuliani's.

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