Poll: Giuliani could loom large in GOP field

Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (R) could have a significant impact on the Republican primary field if he chooses to run, a poll released Friday showed.

A CNN/Opinion Research survey showed Giuliani, who ran a failed presidential campaign in 2008, statistically tied with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) in a hypothetical matchup. Giuliani received 16 percent support from Republicans, Romney got 15 percent and Palin received 13 percent.

ADVERTISEMENT
The poll can be seen as a testament to the unsettled nature of the Republican field of candidates looking to unseat President Obama in 2012.

Romney is seen as the presumptive front-runner, but many Republican activists appear unsatisfied with the current crop and are waiting for a dark-horse to jump into the race. 

Overall, 61 percent of Republican voters say they are satisfied with he current crop of candidates while 39 percent say they are unsatisfied.

Giuliani has not yet said whether he intends to run. But his close political ally, Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), said this week that he is "very close to running."

Should Giuliani not run, the CNN poll, like others, shows Romney topping the field at 19 percent, with Palin and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) coming in second and third at 15 percent and 13 percent respectively.

Former Godfather Pizza CEO Herman Cain reached double-digits in the poll, sitting at 10 percent. That's twice the support of former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R), who is at 5 percent.

Out of the dark-horse candidates on the sidelines, 48 percent of Republicans say they would like to see Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) run, 45 percent want New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) to run, 40 percent would like Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to run and 39 percent want former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) to enter the field.

The results of the CNN poll, conducted between May 24 and 26, is based on a sample of 473 Republicans. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points.