In a hypothetical three-way contest, 51 percent of Democratic primary voters choose Clinton as the nominee. That's the highest percentage since CBS News started asking the question in the spring and an increase of seven points from September. Twenty-three percent back Sen., while 13 percent support former Sen. .
Sixty-four percent of Clinton's supporters say they "strongly favor" the former first lady, while 26 percent say they support her with reservations. Obama is strongly favored by 47 percent of his supporters, while 43 percent support the candidate with reservations.
If Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee, more than 70 percent of Democrats say they will consider voting for her or definitely vote for her for president. Only 6 percent of Democrats say they would not vote for her.
But among registered voters overall, 36 percent say they would definitely not vote for Clinton. Twenty-four percent would definitely vote for her, 21 percent would consider voting for her, and 19 percent say it's too early to say.
Forty-six percent of registered voters believe that if Clinton is elected, she will divide Americans. Forty percent say she will bring Americans together.
Though Clinton is a practicing Methodist, three out of four registered voters do not think she has strong religious beliefs. Even a majority of Democratic primary voters - 63 percent - say her religious beliefs are not strong. Obama and Edwards are thought to be more religious than Clinton, though none of the three is thought to have strong religious beliefs by a majority of those surveyed.
Clinton is viewed favorably by 43 percent of all voters, while Obama is viewed favorably by 38 percent and Edwards by 30 percent. Significantly more Americans say they are undecided or don't know enough to have an opinion about Obama (37 percent) and Edwards (39 percent) than say the same about Clinton (16 percent).
When former Vice President Al Gore, who has not entered the race, is added as a choice for the Democratic nomination, he emerges as a serious contender. Gore garners support of 32 percent of Democratic primary voters, while Clinton gets 37 percent, Obama 16 percent, and Edwards 7 percent. Gore is viewed favorably by 46 percent of registered voters, his highest favorability rating since October, 2000.
This poll was conducted among a random sample of 1282 adults nationwide, including 1143 registered voters, interviewed by telephone October 12-16, 2007. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample, and the sample of registered voters, could be plus or minus three percentage points. 456 interviews were conducted with Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for this subgroup is plus or minus five percentage points.