Giuliani and Romney are now tied nationally, a new poll says.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has lost his once-comfortable lead among Republicans nationwide, according to a new poll out Wednesday night - a setback for the former New York City mayor, who has been banking on his national appeal to offset a potentially less-than-stellar performance in the early-voting states.
Giuliani stands at 20 percent in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll - a showing that puts him in a dead heat with former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. In a similar poll taken six weeks ago, Giuliani held a 22-point lead over Romney.
Three other candidates also register double-digit national support - an indication the Republican presidential race continues to be wide open two weeks ahead of the official kickoff of the presidential primary season.
On the Democratic side, the race seems to be less competitive nationally. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton is at 45 percent - two points fewer than where she was in a similar survey six weeks ago. Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is also down two points from the earlier poll, now at 23 percent. Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards is at 13 percent, while the rest of field registers in the single digits.
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- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney