The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson earning support from 28% of Likely Republican Primary Voters. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attracts support from 27%. While Thompson's one-point edge is statistically insignificant, it is the first time all year that anybody but Giuliani has been on top in Rasmussen Reports polling. A week ago, Thompson and Giuliani were tied at 24%.
It remains an open question as to how Thompson will hold up once he actually enters the campaign and has to compete directly with other candidates. To date, he retains the allure of the new kid in town while GOP voters already know the things they don't like about the others. Still, Thompson's rise to the top provides a telling measure of how the other GOP hopefuls have failed to capture the imagination of the party they hope to lead.
Once gain this week, Arizona Senator John McCain (news, bio, voting record) and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are tied for a distant third. This week, both men attract 10% support. Last week, they were both at the 11% level of support. For McCain, this is a continuation of a downward trend. For Romney, it reflects a fairly steady position. Romney is doing well in selected state polls but has been unable to gain much traction and expand his support nationwide.
I'm not even supposed to be here.