Gabrielle Giffords Would Start Senate Race With Seven-Point Lead Over Congressman Jeff Flake, According to Left-Leaning Pollster

Despite that it's unclear whether Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will be physically able to run for the Senate seat getting vacated by Senator Jon Kyl, she already leads every Republican in the field -- at least according to the somewhat left-wing pollsters at Public Policy Polling.

PPP released the results of a poll this morning that shows Giffords currently leads Republican Congressman Jeff Flake -- the only declared candidate for the seat -- by 7 points, 48-41 percent.

When pegged against other potential Republican candidates rumored to be considering a run, Giffords does even better -- again. This despite the fact that she's currently recovering from a gunshot wound to the face, and there's no indication she'd even be able to run for Senate.

According to the poll, Giffords leads former TV pitchman J.D. Hayworth -- with whom Senator John McCain mopped the floor in last year's GOP Senate primary -- by 26 points, 57-31 percent.

As for former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, whom New Times was first to report in March is rumored to be eying a Senate run in Arizona, Giffords holds a substantial lead over her, too.

According to the poll, Giffords holds an 18-point lead over Palin, 54-36 percent.

As we've argued in the past, it seems a little too soon to be even discussing a Giffords campaign for her Congressional seat, let alone a Senate bid, and Democrats would be foolish to put all their eggs in the Giffords basket.

Assuming Giffords can't run, Democrats might be in some trouble if they hope to take Kyl's Senate seat.

According to the poll, the only Democrat who would even stand a chance against Flake -- the presumed GOP nominee -- is former Attorney General Terry Goddard, who would tie Flake with 45-percent of the vote.

Other Democrats, like Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon and Congressman Ed Pastor, didn't even come close to Flake, each losing by a double-digit margin.

So it seems Goddard is the only realistic Democratic candidate, which, given the awful campaign he ran against Governor Jan Brewer last year, is bad news for left-leaners in Arizona.

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