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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Hillary has big FL lead, Rudy less so

Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are leading their closest presidential rivals 2-1 in Florida, the battleground state suddenly poised to have a major say in deciding the presidential nominees. More here.

But a new St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll shows that despite their big leads -- Clinton tops the Democratic field by 23 percentage points, and Giuliani leads the GOP slate by 14 -- the frontrunners have not secured Florida's support nearly nine months before the primaries. That's especially true for the GOP, where one in three Republicans is either undecided or supporting someone not yet in the race.

The survey found 29 percent of Florida Republican voters backing Giuliani, while John McCain and Mitt Romney were statistically tied at 15 percent and 14 percent respectively. Seventeen percent were undecided. Among Democratic voters polled, 42 percent supported Clinton, 19 percent backed Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, 12 percent John Edwards and 17 percent were undecided.

Meanwhile, Iraq looms large, and Florida independents are strongly siding with Democrats over Republicans on the war.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:49pm]


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