Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Thompson and Giuliani are Even

The still-officially-unannounced Fred Thompson is now tied with Rudy Giuliani as the Republican Party's front-runner, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll. The change from a week ago is remarkable. Just a week ago, the polling stood as follows:

Giuliani: 23%
Thompson: 17%
Romney: 14%
McCain: 13%

And now:

Giuliani: 24%
Thompson: 24%
Romney: 11%
McCain: 11%

This isn't all that surprising, actually. It has been noted that the front-runners in the Republican field all lacked decent conservative credentials (which has to make us wonder how they became front-runners). And the conservatives in the Republican bunch (e.g. Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo, etc.) are all insane. So, the Republicans (or at least the so-called "base") are desperately craving a reliable conservative who also has a shot at winning the general election. They think they've found that in Thompson.

I'm not so sure, though. When Thompson is making claims that Scooter Libby was the victim of a severe injustice and should be immediately pardoned, he seems to be suggesting that corruption would be A-okay in a possible Thompson White House. Defending the Bush administration in any way will not get a candidate enough votes to win in 2008. I've said it before; if a Republican wants any chance of winning in 2008, he will have to come out swinging - against Bush. In this case, the Republican Party should not worry about its base, because no matter who the Republicans pick, the base will come around (what, do they think they're going to switch up and vote for the Constitution Party?), but the moderates and unaffiliateds (according to another Rasmussen poll, the number of unaffiliated voters is at an all-time high) are unlikely to vote for a candidate who defends the actions of the Bush administration. Although, as a side note, it would be interesting if the Republicans did choose a conservative like Thompson and if the Democrats chose Hillary; such a match-up would probably free up the most votes for a third party candidate like Michael Bloomberg (some interesting Bloomberg polls here - keep in mind, the polling area is New Jersey, and we all know those savages are by no means representative of anyone else).

If there is anything surprising about this poll, it is that Thompson is doing so well without having even announced (although, he's made an "exploratory committee," so I guess that's close enough). I would not be surprised to see him take even more votes away from McCain and Romney and possibly even some away from Giuliani.

But, as I've probably said before, national polls about presidential primaries can be extremely misleading. So, take from this what you want.

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