WASHINGTON (AFP) — Hillary Clinton's lead for the Democratic presidential nomination has held firm despite the battering she recieved at the hands of rivals in a televised debate this week, according to a new poll Saturday.
The Newsweek poll, taken in the wake of the blistering attack on Clinton from Barack Obama, John Edwards and other Democratic White House hopefuls, showed she still led the field among Democratic voters with just two months before the state-by-state voting for party nominees begins.
The poll also showed that one year before the November 4, 2008 presidential election Clinton holds a narrow lead over the leading Republican candidate, former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
Among registered and leaning Democrats in the vote Clinton had 43 percent support for the party nomination, far ahead of Obama's 24 percent and Edward's 12 percent. Newsweek said she only lost one percentage point in her lead over Obama, and two in her lead over Edwards from a month earlier, in the wake of the debate.
Newsweek said Giuliani retained his lead over the Republican field in the poll, with 30 percent of the vote against Fred Thompson's 15 percent, John McCain's 14 percent and Mitt Romney's 12 percent.
Thompson's support, which had surged to 22 percent in August, has plummeted since, Newsweek said.
In a matchup with Giuliani next November, the poll showed, Clinton still holds a lead, 49 percent to 45 percent with six percent of voters calling themselves undecided. Based on the four percent margin of error in the poll of 1,002 people, that could put the race at roughly even.
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