As many of you know, I own and manage a nationally known public opinion/polling research company, and greatly enjoy discussing with my fellow Gatherers the subject of politics. Agree, disagree, whatever – my enjoyment comes from the intellectual give-and-take dialogue that all of you have enabled me over time.
Fred Thompson, a former U.S. Senator from Tennessee and perhaps better known as one of the stars on the TV show “Law and Order”, told (or at least implied to) the media yesterday that he is going to enter the race for President in 2008. He is a Republican, and therefore will be butting heads with the likes of Mitt Romney (whom I prefer and actually predict will be our next President), Rudy Giuliani (former mayor of New York City), and U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona. There are another seven GOP candidates as well, but none at this point are expected to play a major role in determining the outcome.
For those of you who have been paying at least some degree of attention to the 2008 Presidential race,
n Do you think Thompson will in fact get into the race? Although the entrance appears to be eminent, such things as not having the overwhelming desire to be President, being behind in such things as insufficient uncommitted amounts of $$, the good consultants/pollsters being taken by other candidates already, etc. could in fact point to a scenario in which Thompson does not run. What do you think?
n If he does enter the race, from whom do you think he (as a formidable opponent) takes support? Giuliani? McCain? Romney? Undecided (at this point) voters? Personally, I think his entrance into the race hurts Giuliani the most:
o On a national basis, Giuliani is ahead (barely) of all other Republican candidates, but has been dropping steadily at least in part due to his poor handling of the abortion issue. Further, much of his support appears to be quite “soft”, suggesting that many current supporters could be easily convinced to look to another candidate.
o As of late, McCain’s appearance (energy, looks) has not been as good as in 2000. Further, many conservatives (the backbone of the Republican party “kingmakers”) do not completely trust him, and certainly disagree with his support of the “amnesty” immigration bill.
o Romney (and Thompson) are both clearly targeting conservatives as their bases of support. However, the Romney campaign has thus far done an excellent job in targeting advertising in early caucus/primary states, and is very well organized at the grass roots level. Don’t misunderstand me – Romney clearly will lose some of his Iowa and New Hampshire leads in the polls to Thompson. I’m simply saying that I feel that this loss will be less than the losses associated with Giuliani and McCain.
n Finally, if Thompson were to be the 2008 nominee, how would he fare against:
o Hillary Clinton?
o Barack Obama?
o John Edwards?
In my opinion, the answers to these three questions will be heavily dependent on the situation in Iraq and/or how we stand with Osama Bin Laden.
Well, what do all of you think? I can’t wait to hear from you!