The Republican nomination contest is being increasingly shaped by ideology and religion as it moves toward the Super Tuesday states on Feb. 5. John McCain has moved out to a solid lead nationally, increasing his support among Republican and GOP-leaning voters from 22% in late December to 29% currently. Mike Huckabee, at 20%, and Mitt Romney, with 17%, trail McCain. Rudy Giuliani is a distant fourth, polling just 13%. Giuliani's support has declined seven points since late December.
McCain's gains over this period have come almost entirely from moderate and liberal Republicans, among whom he now holds a two-to-one lead over his nearest rivals. The preferences of conservative Republicans are split along religious lines. Huckabee leads the field among conservative evangelicals, drawing 33% to 25% for McCain and just 12% for Romney. In the poll, conducted before the Michigan primary, Romney leads McCain and far outdistances Huckabee – and the rest of the GOP field – among non-evangelical conservative Republicans.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Jan. 9-13 among 1,515 adults, finds:
Read the full report In GOP Primaries: Three Victors, Three Constituencies on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.