DICK MORRIS’ ’08 Play-by-Play Analysis
Vol. 1, #4
March 28, 2007
THE THOMPSON THREAT
Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson poses a direct threat to Rudy Giuliani’s substantial lead in the Republican presidential primary. If he gets in…it’s bad news for Rudy.
The Gallup Poll of March 23-25 shows surprising Republican support for Thompson. As an undeclared candidate, he is getting 12 points in a GOP match. And, almost all of his vote share is coming from either Giuliani and Romney. McCain and Gingrich are not affected at all!
Three weeks ago, Rudy was at 44% in the same poll – without Thompson. But now, with Thompson added, Rudy drops to 31%, and Romney goes from 8% to 3%.
Republican Presidential Preferences:
With and Without Thompson
With Fred (March 4) Without Fred (March 25)
Giuliani 44% 31%
McCain 20 22
Thompson -- 12
Gingrich 9 8
Romney 8 3
Source: Gallup poll
So…if Fred Thompson decides to make the race, Mitt Romney might as well go home - since Fred eats his lunch and knocks him down to 3% of the vote. (It wouldn’t be a bad idea for Mitt to go home anyway). And, if Thompson runs, Giuliani will have to battle for his lead.
Why is Thompson so lethal to Rudy? Forget the left/right division; its not really applicable. What matters is media/nonmedia or charisma/noncharisma. Rudy and Fred are both television candidates. 9-11 vs Law and Order. America’s Mayor faces America’s prosecutor. Both have been intimately involved with the voters.
The fact that Rudy wasn’t acting while Fred was is lost on a Republican Party that, after all, backed Ronald Reagan and made him one of the most successful chief executives in history.
If Thompson gets in, he will become an immediate contender in a way that Romney was never able to be. He will make the GOP race a three sided affair and bring the Rudy boomlet down to earth.