December 30, 2007

The Ultimate Poll: The Five-Place Tie

Well, we knew this was coming, didn't we? Rasmussen has a new poll out this morning that shows a dead heat among the five Republican frontrunners, with a new face at the very top of the heap:

For the first time all year, Arizona Senator John McCain finds himself on top with support from 17% of Likely Republican Primary Voters. In the muddled GOP race, McCain becomes the third person to top the poll this month and the fourth since October. But his lead is statistically insignificant--Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are just a point behind at 16% and Rudy Giuliani is two points back at 15%. Slightly off the pace, but still within five points of McCain, is Fred Thompson at 12%. Ron Paul retains his base support at 7%.

One of the more amazing things about the Republican race this year is that it has grown closer and closer over time (see recent daily numbers). In a poll with a four-percentage point margin of error, the fact that five candidates are within five points means there is absolutely no national frontrunner. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that 13% of Likely Primary Voters remain undecided.

Data from suggest that Giuliani has a 30.0 % chance of winning the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney 25.2 %, John McCain 19.9 %, Mike Huckabee 11.6 %, and Fred Thompson 3.5 %. However, those numbers are likely to shift dramatically as results come in from the upcoming Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primaries.

In other words, the national race has become a toss-up. So what else is new? We're now at the spot where the national polls mean little, though, and the state polls have much more significance. Still, this does show that McCain has managed to revive what everyone considered a dead campaign in mid-summer -- and that resurgence could present Mitt Romney with considerable difficulties in New Hampshire.


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