POLL: Clinton Advances, Strong in Base; Giuliani’s Lead has Less Oomph

It follows that 47 percent pick Giuliani as the "strongest leader" among the leading Republican candidates, more than double his closest competitor on this measure, McCain. And 45 percent pick him as best able to handle terrorism, 18 points ahead of McCain, despite McCain's military credentials.

Giuliani's biggest advantage on personal attributes is his reputation as being best able to win in November. He also leads on handling "social issues" when asked as a general concept — no individual, hot-button issues were specified. But, he's weaker on other items — "core Republican values," as noted, and also, honesty and trustworthiness. And McCain challenges him in trust to handle the war in Iraq.

Among key groups, Giuliani's support is much weaker among evangelical white Protestants — a reflection of his difficulties in the Republican base. Among Republicans who are not evangelical white Protestants, Giuliani has 38 percent support; they're the source of his gain in the past month. But, among evangelicals, who account for three in 10 leaned Republicans, his support is half that, and flat — 23 percent, essentially even with Thompson's 22 percent.

There are miles to go in both contests. But, as Clinton looks increasingly strong in her Democratic race, Giuliani, regardless of his consistent lead overall, remains far more vulnerable to challenge in his party's base.

METHODOLOGY — This ABC News/Washington Post poll was conducted by telephone Sept. 27-30, 2007, among a random national sample of 1,114 adults, including an oversample of African-Americans, for a total of 212 black respondents (weighted back to their correct share of the national population).

The results have a three-point error margin for the full sample, four points for the sample of 592 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, and five points for the sample of 398 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents. Sampling, data collection and tabulation by TNS of Horsham, Pa.

Click here for PDF with charts and data table.

Click here for more ABC News polls.

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