Fred Thompson Leads Rasmussen Poll

Fred Thompson has moved to the front of the GOP field, according to the latest Rasmussen poll.

Thompson, preparing to formally announce his candidacy, leads the pack in the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey with 27% support. That gives him a four-point advantage over former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani who is currently preferred by 23% of Likely Primary Voters. A week ago, it was Thompson 28% and Giuliani 27%. Two weeks ago, they were tied at 24%. Prior to that time, Giuliani had been on top in every weekly Rasmussen Reports poll for five months

Thompson leads Giuliani by 13 percentage points among conservative primary voters while Giuliani leads among moderates.

This poll, however, is an extreme outlier. Here’s what RealClearPolitics is showing this morning:

Rasmussen Poll Thompson Leading Pack June 26, 2007

My first thought was that Rasmussen was explicitly surveying likely primary voters while the others were looking only at “adults” or “registered voters.” Upon looking at the individual polls, though, only CNN failed to apply some sort of “likely Republican primary voter” screen.

Cook/RT Strategies has Thompson in a distant third place behind Giuliani and McCain — and the gap widens considerably when 1st Choice and 2nd Choice answers are combined. Gallup has Thompson in a dead heat with McCain for second but gives Giuliani a comfortable lead. Newsweek/Princeton has Thompson more firmly in second but still well behind Giuliani.

Thompson’s showing is impressive in any case, considering that he’s mostly aiming his campaign at conservative opinion leaders at this point and he’s largely unknown with the general public. Still, I wouldn’t put too much stock into one poll.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Bithead says:

    Impressive is the word. Indeed, if anything, it’s a little earlier than I would have expected.

    You know, I got to wondering last night,About what would happen if the various individuals running for POTUS, were to drop out. What would the impact be on the overall election?

    It seems to me that no candidate withdrawing, save Fred Thompson would in reality have a large impact on the race.

    Look, I know he hasn’t really committed as yet, and I recognize that the chances of this happening are very small… but what would happen if he was to announce that he wasn’t running?

    It’s a mark of how weak the rest of the field is, apparently, that my instinctive response would be that such an act would be tantamount to directly handing the democrats real action. It would be all over but the democratic party nomination process.

    Your post here this morning, solidifies that thought.

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    I agree that the Rasmussen seems to be an outlier, but look at the other side of the coin. An an unannounced candidate has an RCP average that is respectfully in second place over the “guy whose turn is due” and the former governor.

    Rudy had a double digit RCP lead is now in single digits. None of the top four you have listed have this sewn up nor are any of them toast.