A poll conducted this past weekend seems to say, if Fred Thompson joins the race, things will get very interesting for the Republican candidates:
Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani holds first place in the survey, with support from 27% of the Republicans and independents who said they plan to vote in the party’s 2008 primaries.
But Thompson, an actor who played a prosecutor on NBC’s “Law & Order,” runs just behind, with 21%. Indications are he will join the race within the next month.
The two other major GOP contenders, Sen. John McCain of Arizona and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, fall well short of the leaders and are in a battle for third place. McCain was backed by 12% of those polled, Romney by 10%. The rest of the crowded field is mired in single digits.
Thompson is expected to announce his candidacy soon and has many conservatives using the ‘R’ word:
Thompson, 64, a former Republican senator from Tennessee, may also benefit from his fame as a film and television actor. “When I watch him on `Law and Order’ I’ve always loved him,” said Al Pepe, a 79-year-old retired electronics manager from Jacksonville, Florida.
“He reminds me of Reagan,” said Pepe, a Republican who favors Thompson. “You want to listen to him.”
Lofty praise indeed. What about the Democratic side of the poll:
Clinton had 33 percent in the poll; Obama 21 percent; former Vice President Al Gore, who so far is not a candidate, 20 percent; and former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., 12 percent.
Democratic analysts had no ready explanation why Clinton has lost support from men, especially younger men. Much of this support seems to have moved to Gore. Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, said that could change and noted that younger men do not vote with the frequency that women do.
Clinton, Gore and Obama each draw about one-quarter of Democratic men. Said Democratic pollster Mark Mellman, who is not working for a candidate: “If she can hold close in the race among men and dominate among the women, that’s the ballgame” and she will win the nomination.
Funny how candidates who are not even technically running are gaining ground. Is that a statement about public opinion of Fred Thompson and Al Gore or rather an indication of the level of disgust with the present cast of presidential characters? Seems to me the American public is getting very tired of professional politicians; unfortunately, that’s all we have to choose from at the moment.