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Clinton holds lead over Obama for 2008 nomination

UNITED STATES: Hillary Clinton, who took a key step Saturday toward a 2008 White House bid, holds a large lead over rival Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination for the race, according to a new poll.

Clinton, wife of former president Bill Clinton, leads Obama an Illinois senator who joined the race earlier this week 41 percent to 17 percent in the poll released by ABC News and The Washington Post on Saturday.

The poll also found that former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was favored 34 percent to 27 percent over Senator John McCain for the Republican nomination to contest the 2008 race. The poll was taken January 16-19, ahead of Clinton's announcement Saturday that she was joining the race. A random sampling of 1,000 adults was surveyed for the poll.

Both the Republican and Democratic nominations will be decided in a series of state primary elections that start at the beginning of next year.

Meanwhile Clinton, in her first public appearance since joining the 2008 White House race, said she wanted to become U.S. president because she was "worried about the future of our country."

The former first lady, appearing at a health clinic in Manhattan to promote expanded health insurance for children, faced a mob of journalists eager to quiz her on her historic campaign to be the first female U.S. president.

"I'm worried about the future of our country, and I want to help put it back on the right course so that we can work together to meet the challenges that confront us at home and abroad," she said.

"I am best-positioned to be able to do that, and that's why I'm running," Clinton added.

New York, Monday, Reuters

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