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Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

The race for the Republican nomination for the presidency appears to be a rollar-coaster ride this year, as John McCain is the new leader in a fresh national poll by Rasmussen Reports.

For the first time all year, the Arizona senator finds himself on top with support from 17 percent of likely Republican primary voters.

McCain becomes the third person to top the poll this month and the fourth since October.

But, according to Rasmussen, McCain’s lead is statistically insignificant.

Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee are just a point behind at 16 percent, and Rudy Giuliani is two points back at 15 percent. Slightly off the pace, but still within five points of McCain, is Fred Thompson at 12 percent. Ron Paul retains his base support at 7 percent.

“One of the more amazing things about the Republican race this year is that it has grown closer and closer over time,” notes Rasmussen. “In a poll with a four-percentage point margin of error, the fact that five candidates are within five points means there is absolutely no national frontrunner. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that 13 percent of likely primary voters remain undecided.”

The daily tracking poll shows on the Democratic side, it’s Hillary Clinton 42 percent, Barack Obama 23 percent and John Edwards 16 percent. No other Democrat tops 2 percent nationally.





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