Fights For Parties' Presidential Nods May Be Tightening, But Who Has Advantage In 2008?

Washington (AP) -- Recent Presidential polls may show the country wants to elect a Democrat next time around but a closer look questions how solid their advantage is.

Political operatives and analysts attribute the desire for change to the deep unpopularity of President Bush and the war in Iraq. But when top Republican and Democratic candidates are paired, the GOP hopefuls generally do quite well or at least hold their own.

A GOP pollster says "it's almost a 'do you want George Bush to be president again?' question," but when you say "do you want Hillary Clinton or Rudy Giuliani to be president?" the answer changes.

Next year's election is eons away in political time and many things could happen to alter today's dynamics.

Pollsters say early polls are important, not as predictors of who will prevail but because strong showings make it easier for candidates to attract contributors, campaign supporters and media coverage.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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