Andrew Burkinshaw writes:
The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows that Rudy Giuliani is losing support, Hillary Clinton is gaining support and that the majority of Americans want the Democrats to win the presidency in 2008.
The poll shows that Giuliani still leads the Republican field with 29% but that former Senator (and undeclared candidate) Fred Thompson is now in second place with 20% and that former favourite John McCain has fallen level with Mitt Romney on 14%.
But will it be worth winning the Republican nomination? The poll shows that by 52% to 31% Americans would prefer the next President to be a Democrat. The poll gives the Republican Party its worst result for twenty years showing that by 49% to 36% Americans think the Democrats more closely share their values and positions.
President Bush's own popularity rating has fallen to its lowest level at 29%, with 66% of Americans disapproving of his performance. Among Republicans his approval rating has dropped to 62%.
For Democrats the picture is mixed. The Democrat controlled Congress's approval is lower than the President's at 23%. Only 41% of Americans say that their representative deserves to be re-elected, similar to the levels before the Republicans lost control in November.
But Democrat presidential candidates are doing better. Hillary Clinton, the leading Democrat, beats Giuliani 48% to 43% in a hypothetical run-off. Hillary Clinton is strengthening her position within the Democrat field, up from 36% to 39% while both Barrack Obama and John Edwards have fallen, Obama from 31% to 25% and Edwards from 20% to 15%. It appears Hillary's efforts to contrast her experience with that of Obama's is working.