McCain Surges Ahead in California

He opens up big lead over Romney week before Super Tuesday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2008 5:13 AM CST
Presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks at the California Republican Party convention in Indian Wells, Calif., in this file photo. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – John McCain has leaped ahead of GOP rival Mitt Romney in California, according to the latest CNN/OpinionResearch Corp. McCain has the support of 39% of likely California Republican voters, up 19% from just two weeks ago, and well ahead of Romney, with 26%. Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee bring up the rear, with 13% and 11%, respectively.

McCain's gains have come primarily among liberal and moderate Republicans, and from GOP voters under the age of 50, according to the director of the poll. California's Republicans still favor Romney on economic matters, but think McCain would be better at tackling terrorism and illegal immigration. California votes on Super Tuesday. A Florida win today could firm up McCain's front-runner status. Florida polls show him in a dead heat with Romney.