Poll: Clinton could have 2008 trouble in own backyard

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton could have trouble carrying her own state if she runs for president in 2008 and Republicans nominate either former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani or Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a poll of New York voters reported Tuesday.

Lee Miringoff of Marist College's Institute for Public Opinion said the statewide poll, conducted in conjunction with New York City's WNBC-TV, is bad news for the former first lady given concerns nationally among some Democrats about her "electability."

In a theoretical matchup for the 2008 presidential race, the WNBC/Marist poll found Giuliani favored by 50 of New York voters to 46 percent for Clinton. The poll had Clinton at 48 percent and McCain at 45 percent.

"The question often centers around, can she be elected, can she carry a red state?" said the Marist pollster. "These numbers suggest that even right here in her own backyard the bluest of the blue Rudy Giuliani and Senator John McCain would give her a run for her money."

In New York, there are 5 million Democrats and 3 million Republicans, and the state has not been carried by a Republican presidential contender since Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984.

Clinton did better 58 percent to 36 percent against Gov. George Pataki, who like Giuliani is eyeing the 2008 GOP presidential nomination.

Marist's telephone poll of 735 registered voters was conducted May 1-7 and has a sampling error margin of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Polls have shown Clinton well ahead of her potential Republican opposition in her bid this year for a second Senate term and national surveys have her as the front-runner for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

In the WNBC/Marist poll, 49 percent of New Yorkers said Clinton should run for president in 2008, but 66 percent said it was unlikely she could be elected. Fifty-one percent said Giuliani should run, but 52 percent said it was unlikely he could be elected president.

Seventy-four percent of New Yorkers polled said Pataki should not run for president, reports AP.