The Thompson Campaign’s Bloodbath At The Polls

According to Rasmussen polling, the best pollster in the business over the last two election cycles, Fred Thompson’s campaign has taken a grievous blow in the last few weeks.

On Oct 7, at the height of his post announcement bounce, he was running at 24% nationally. Two weeks later, on Oct 21st, he was still at a very respectable post bounce 19%. Then, roughly another two weeks later, on November 6th, he was still holding strong at 16%. One week later, he had bled all the way down to 11% nationally.

Perhaps worse yet, in South Carolina, a state Fred Thompson almost has to win to stay viable, the latest Survey USA poll has Fred in 3rd place, 2 points behind Mitt Romney and 8 points behind Rudy Giuliani.

So, why has Fred’s campaign tanked in the last two weeks? Two reasons seem to stand out.

#1) Fred Thompson’s rejection of a Constitutional Amendment to ban abortion may have convinced pro-lifers who were lining up behind him that he wasn’t serious about the issue.

#2) The other problem may be Fred Thompson’s foolish little joke that helped cement perceptions that his heart isn’t in the race.

Trying to encourage his studio to hurry up so an interview could start, Carl Cameron of Fox News said into his microphone: “The next president of the United States has a schedule to keep.” Standing beside him, a deadpan Mr Thompson interjected: “And so do I.”

The bad news for Fred is that he has been seriously wounded and there is a possibility that he won’t recover from it.

On the other hand, the good news, such as it is, is threefold.

#1) There will probably be more changes and movement in the race over the next month and a half, as voters start to pay attention, than there has been over the past three months. That means it’s definitely not too late.

#2) Despite Fred being at the lowpoint of his entire campaign, he is still within striking distance of first place in South Carolina and is also very capable of finishing in the top 3 spots in Iowa and Michigan. If he can pull off that hat trick, he can probably hang around until Super Tuesday, where he’ll have a chance to pick up enough supporters from candidates who’ve dropped out of the race to win.

#3) The good news about Fred flubs last week, is that they are correctable. In fact, Fred’s endorsement by the National Right to Life Committee is very helpful on that front and as to the “lazy” charge, well, the easiest way to prove that’s not true is to simply outwork everyone else and let people know about it.

Long story short, after this past week, Fred’s not done, but he is down and it’s pretty clear that unless he starts taking his numbers back in the right direction, he will soon be out. That would be a shame, because none of the other top tier candidates better represents the beliefs of the conservative base than Fred Thompson.

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