A new CNN poll released yesterday shows former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani leading the entire field of Republican candidates in a hypothetical match-up of a dozen declared and potential candidates for the party’s presidential nomination.
Giuliani, who turned 67 on Saturday and will be heading to New Hampshire next week, was favored by 16 percent of the respondents in the survey conducted May 24-26. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney placed second with 15 percent, followed by former Alaska governor Sarah Palin at 13 percent.
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul was fourth with 12 percent while Herman Cain, who announced his candidacy a week ago, was preferred by 10 percent of the 473 likely Republican voters surveyed.
Romney led the field by four percentage points when Giuliani’s name was excluded from the list of potential candidates.
Giuliani might be leading nationally, but his prospective candidacy has yet to excite a large number of Republican voters.
“Giuliani has the top spot in a 12-candidate field, but he doesn’t generate a lot of enthusiasm,” CNN Polling Director Keating Holland told POLITICO. “Only about a quarter of Republicans nationwide said that they would be enthusiastic if Giuliani won the nomination. But he’s not alone — only a quarter would be enthusiastic if Palin got the party’s nod, and only one in five would feel the same way if Romney became the GOP’s standard bearer in 2012.”
The poll, conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation, had a margin of error of 4.5 percent.