Giuliani's Shine off in the Golden State?
Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's lead in the race for California's huge delegate pool has nearly evaporated, and the state's likely Republican voters are now deeply divided between the top four GOP contenders, according to a new poll from the non-partisan Public Policy Institute of California.
Giuliani now gets the support of 22 percent of Republican likely voters, giving him just a slight lead over Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney, both at 16 percent. John McCain completes the second-place mash-up at 15 percent. In June, at 31 percent, Giuliani had about double the support of any other candidate.
The new numbers come on the heels of recent national polls showing a slippage in Giuliani's advantage and Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg polls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina highlighting the former mayor's challenge in early voting states.
But the new poll may be the more troubling for the Giuliani campaign and its hopes to pick up steam on Feb. 5, when 18 states, including California hold their GOP presidential votes. Many have seen Gov. Schwarzenegger-led California as ideal territory for Giuliani's brand of moderate Republicanism.
At this stage, Giuliani's losses have not been matched by significant pick-ups by any of his main rivals. In another sign of an unsettled field, the percent of Republican likely voters who expressed no opinion on the race jumped from 12 percent to 20 percent.
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