Monday, January 14, 2008

Gallup Poll Finds McCain Leading Nationally

A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds John McCain leading in national public opinion after his surging come-from-behind victory in the New Hampshire primary:

A new USA Today/Gallup poll documents the net effect of the mixed results from the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses and Jan. 8 New Hampshire primary on national preferences for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations.

On the Republican side, John McCain and Rudy Giuliani have essentially swapped positions since a mid-December USA Today/Gallup poll. According to the weekend survey, conducted Jan. 10-13, McCain now leads the GOP field with 33% of the vote of Republicans or Republican-leaning independents. Giuliani has traded his front-runner position for third place (although he is just two points ahead of Mitt Romney), with 13% now supporting him for the nomination, down from 27% in the Dec. 14-16 poll. Mike Huckabee is in second place with 19% -- similar to where he was before the real voting started. He was tied for second place with 16% in mid-December, though he briefly rose to first place with 25% support immediately after his strong win in Iowa.

Romney is hanging on to his second-tier position with 11%. Support for Fred Thompson, at 9% in the new poll, has faded from the 14% recorded in December, and is his worst showing since he entered the race last spring.

The Gallup findings match up well with today's New York Times poll, which found McCain favored by 32 percent and Mick Huckabee following well behind with 18 percent support nationally. Gallup and NYT's findings for McCain were higher than the results from the Washington Post's poll out today, which found McCain at 28 percent over Huckabee at 20.

What's interesting in this last comparison is the difference in support of undecideds, who are less attached to the lower-tier candidates (Romney and Giuliani), which could work to strengthen polling trends for the leading contenders.

See also the Los Angeles Times, which has a poll out today finding California voters favoring John McCain (more on this survey later).