Giuliani 2008

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Rudy Giuliani-3.jpg

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a Republican presidential contender acclaimed for his leadership after the September 11 attacks, took a step closer to an official White House run on Monday.

He filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission establishing a committee to explore a presidential bid, which allows him to raise money, travel and hire staff.

“We still have to formally announce it and do a few more things, but this is about as close as you’re gonna get,” Giuliani said on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity & Colmes.” “We did everything you have to do, I guess, legally to do it, then you still have to make a formal announcement.”

The new paperwork removed the phrase “testing the waters” from the statement of candidacy Giuliani originally filed in November.

Giuliani said the move put him in the same position as his Republican rivals Arizona Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

“If I were going to bet like you bet on the Super Bowl … I would bet that we are going ahead,” he told reporters in New York, before declining to give an announcement date except to say it would be “sooner rather than later.”

The move could calm growing doubts among Republicans about whether he is serious about a White House run in 2008. While Giuliani leads eight other Republicans in many national polls, there has been growing speculation he might not run.

He faces an uphill battle winning over conservatives who wield considerable influence in Republican primaries because of his stance on some social issues, including his support for gay rights and abortion rights

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National Poll: Clinton 34% Obama 18%

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February 6, 2007

Rassmussen Reports

After two weeks in which Senator Hillary Clinton (D) was pulling away from other contenders for the Democratic nomination, the latest Rasmussen Reports Election 2008 polling shows that the race has stabilized a bit.

Clinton now attracts 34% of the vote, up just a single point over the past week (see last week’s results). Barack Obama (D), the charismatic freshman Senator from Illinois, lost a single point and now attracts 18% support. That leaves him sixteen points behind the frontrunner. Three weeks ago, at the height of Obama-mania, the man from Illinois had pulled to within a single point of the frontrunner.

Despite the fact that the frontrunners in the Democratic Party are a woman and an African-American, 60% of voters believe that the Democrats will end up nominating a white male as their Presidential candidate in 2008.

Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards (D) earns support from just 10% of those polled. Edwards has consistently been in third place. However, now he shares that spot with former Vice President Al Gore. For Gore that reflects a slight gain from the 8% level of support he enjoyed a week ago. Gore has not indicated that he is running. Senator Joe Biden (D) and General Wesley Clark (D) each earn 3% of the vote. No other candidates top 1% at this time.

While Clinton is the frontrunner within the party, Obama and Edwards do a bit better in general election match-ups against leading Republicans.  Obama and Edwards both lead John McCain (R) while Clinton is essentially tied with the Arizona Senator. John Edwards is within two points of Rudy Giuliani (R) , closer than any other Democrat. See match-ups and favorability ratings for all Democratic candidates.

Eight-out-of-ten Americans say they are willing to vote for a woman Presidential candidate and a similar percentage say the same about an African-American candidate. However, in each case, just over 50% believe their peers are likely to do the same. There is a significant difference of opinion on these questions by age. Just a third of senior citizens believe their peers would vote for a woman or an African-American.

It is clearly very early in the nomination process and much could change between now and the time when votes are cast in Iowa and New Hampshire. However, given the front-loaded nature of the Primary schedule, perceptions of the candidates and their competitiveness could become very important in determining the nominees for Election 2008. If a candidate is unable to raise serious money and build a solid organization early, they may find themselves unable to compete in what is shaping up to be almost a national primary on February 5.