The latest Harris poll shows Fred Thompson ahead of Rudy Giuliani among Republicans nationwide. So far, Rasmussen is the only other major poll with that result. Thompson leads Giuliani 32 percent to 28 percent, with John McCain at 11, and Mitt Romney at 9. Newt Gingrich still pulls 7 percent; Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul draw 3 percent each.
Personally, I don’t disagree with my colleagues’ assesment of Thompson’s performance on the stump to date. But I do wonder if we might be missing something. I’ve had several conversations this week with people who are conservative and reasonably well informed but not 24-7 obsessives as people in this line of work tend to be. All of them were very enthusiastic about Fred. One young woman told me after church that her family in tobacco country was behind Thompson.
This is all anecdotal and, Harris and Rasmussen aside, most national polls still show Giuliani ahead. Nevertheless, we inside-the-Beltway types need to remember that we sometimes judge candidates and political scenarios differently than the average voter. I remember watching the first 2000 presidential debate and coming away thinking that George W. Bush got his clock cleaned. Many Americans, however, considered Al Gore the loser because they were turned off by his obnoxious sighing.
Could there be more to Fred than meets the eye?
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