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:
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.