Former Senator John Edwards now attracts 50% support in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey matching him with former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani. He leads Giuliani 50% to 41%. The poll also shows Edwards with a ten-point advantage over former Senator Fred Thompson, 49% to 39%.
One interesting twist to this year’s early Presidential polling is that Edwards typically outperforms other leading Democratic hopefuls in general election match-ups but remains a distant third in the competition for the Democratic Presidential Nomination. This seems to have impaired his fundraising and Edwards recently decided to accept public funding. The move subjects his campaign to strict spending limits that many political observers believe will handicap his efforts.
Still, Edwards currently leads the top four Republican candidates by an average of nearly nine points.
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton leads the top GOP hopefuls by an average of six points while Barack Obama holds an average lead of five points (see a summary of general election match-ups and other key stats for all Democratic and Republican candidates).