The trends seen in the ABC/Washington Post, Marist and Gallup polls continue with the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: Rudy at 33%(up 3 pts), McCain in second at 16%, Thompson dropping (8 pts) to 15% , Romney at 11% and Huckbee up 4 pts to 8%. What we have seen in all these polls is: 1) Rudy edging up slightly; 2) Thompson’s bounce has faded ; 3) he’s been replaced in second by McCain and 3) despite a lot of activity and paid ads Romney has not moved significantly in the last 6 months and now has Huckabee moving up behind him. We will see whether there is similar movement soon in early primary states where Romney continues to do much better and McCain much worse than their national poll numbers. In Florida Rudy has a comfortable lead but he has yet to break through in NH, perhaps his best shot at a pre-January 29(Florida) win.
UPDATE: Bob Novak thinks Thompson did himself in with the Meet the Press performance but Paul Weyrich might have been on the mark when he observed ” I’ve got to tell you, I do not think Thompson really wants to be elected that badly.”