US presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and John McCain hold
impressive leads in the races for their parties' nominations in
California just one week before the state primaries, according to a
new poll released Tuesday.
The Los Angeles Times/CNN/Politico poll, conducted by
Opinion Research Corp., showed that Clinton and McCain enjoy
double-digit margins over their nearest rivals in California, but
many prospective voters say they could still change their
Clinton maintained a 49 percent to 32 percent lead over Illinois
Senator Barack Obama among California Democrats, despite losing
some support in key voter groups. The poll found that Democratic
women continued to side with the New York senator by nearly a 2-1
The poll was conducted largely before Obama's victory Saturday
in South Carolina and the subsequent high-profile endorsements of
him by US Senator Edward Kennedy and his niece, Caroline Kennedy
According to the Los Angeles Times, although the effect
of those events was unclear, the gyrations of the presidential
season had California voters uncertain of their loyalties even
before the latest developments.
Among those likely to vote in the Democratic primary, 3 in 10
said they could change their minds -- including more than half of
those supporting John Edwards, in third place with 11 percent of
Meanwhile, more than 4 in 10 Republicans said they could end up
backing another candidate by election day on February 5, the
so-called "Super Tuesday" when nearly two dozen states hold
primaries or caucuses.
However, the poll showed McCain has vaulted ahead of three other
candidates from the Republican Party with whom he shared a
statistical tie for the party's nomination just two weeks ago.
The survey, which questioned 1,820 registered voters last week,
also found how the quirks of California's primary could affect the
vote when the results are tabulated.
About half of voters in California are expected to use mail-in
ballots -- which have been available since January 7, and Clinton
was romping over Obama among that group, 53 percent to 30
But among those expecting to cast ballots in a traditional
precinct visit, the race was a closer 42 percent to 34 percent in
Unlike in past campaigns, when the state's delegates were
largely awarded to the statewide winner, delegates this year will
be allocated on both sides under formulas that are tied to the
results in each congressional district.
(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2008)