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Poll: Hillary would beat out both Laura and Condi

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WASHINGTON - America is ready for a Madam President - and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is the clear female front-runner in the 2008 run, besting First Lady Laura Bush by 10 points and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by 6, a new poll shows.

In hypothetical match-ups posed by (without the hyphen), Clinton outpaces Bush by 47 to 37 percent and Rice by 44 to 38 percent - one notch down from the 7-point lead she held over Rice in a similar poll six months ago.

Rice, however, has denied having any plans to make a White House bid, and Bush has expressed no interest in running.

Clinton, meanwhile, didn't stop a Senate colleague from introducing her earlier this year as "the next president of the United States."

But the results of the poll of 1,000 likely voters - split evenly between Democrats and Republicans - aren't all roses for Clinton: She's viewed unfavorably by 43 percent, while just 33 percent don't like Rice and 27 percent don't care for Bush.

Conversely, 55 percent say they like Bush, 43 percent view Rice favorably and 42 percent see Clinton in a positive light.

And while 28 percent of those polled said they would definitely vote for Clinton to become president, 39 percent said they definitely wouldn't.

A poll taken earlier this year had Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) beating Clinton, 45 to 38 percent, in a presidential showdown, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani edging her, 42 to 40 percent.

Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc. All rights reserved.

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