SAN FRANCISCO - Al Gore, though not a candidate in the 2008 presidential race, enjoys the highest favorable ratings among those likely to vote in the Democratic primary in California and is the leading choice of voters in the Bay Area, a new Field Poll shows.The Field Poll released today shows that of announced Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York leads the pack with 41 percent support among those who identified themselves as likely to cast Democratic primary ballots in February. She is followed by Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois at 28 percent and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards at 13 percent, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson at 4 percent and all other candidates coming in with less than 4 percent.
Gore has an 85 percent favorable rating with likely Democratic voters, compared with an unfavorable rating of 13 percent, the highest favorable rating among potential candidates. Edwards is next with an 83 percent favorable rating, with just 6 percent seeing him in an unfavorable light; Clinton is next with a 75 percent favorable rating, with nearly 1 in 5 having a negative view of her; and Obama has a 73 percent favorable rating, compared with 11 percent unfavorable, the poll shows.
On regional preferences, Clinton leads in Los Angeles County, other Southern California regions and other Northern California regions, but when Gore is included in the matchups, the former vice president is the preferred candidate in the Bay Area, where Edwards also has his strongest showing.
Gore also leads with white non-Hispanic voters, while Clinton leads with Latino and African American voters, the poll shows.
The poll of 417 likely Democratic primary voters was taken March 20-31 and has a margin of error of five percentage points.
© 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.