The LA Times just released a poll that shows a very interesting trend. Guiliani and Fred Thompson are currently in a statistical tie. And on Real Clear Politics, a collaboration of polls nationwide shows that Thompson has catapulted into second with nearly 20% support, putting McCain and Romney into a battle for third. This is happening while Thompson has yet to officially declare his candicacy.
I think this is evidence that grassroots America is still a strong political force. Several months ago, Thompson hadn’t even considered a presidential bid. But a grassroots campaign to generate support for him built, and now he is on the verge of officially entering the race. Why? I think it’s because we’re getting tired of typical politicians. Thompson represents the Reagan-Republicans like no other candidate out there. I’ve seen this man speak multiple times, and each time I am instantly reminded of Reagan. He is perpetually positive, unafraid to point out the shortcomings of his opponents, but yet doing so in a dignified, non-politician manner. But what impresses me most is his ability to inspire. Thompson’s oratory skill is enough to give any Reagan-admirer goose-bumps.
So, in light of what the polls show, it appears that the GOP race is a two-man affair, and I think it’s going to be very close between Guiliani and Thompson. Rudy will get a lot of the moderate vote, basically from people who aren’t bothered by his socially-liberal positions but are attracted to his tough foreign policy. Thompson will solidify the base, which will make for some very dedicated support but may not be enough to win the nomination.
In the general election, I think Hillary beats them both, mainly because she is a genius at politics and will stoop to new lows (anyone see her talk about religion lately?) to get votes. But, if Obama wins the nomination I think it will be a different story. Obama’s appeal is similar to Thompson in his ability to look positive, but lately I’ve been disappointed with him. He’s beginning to throw the race card around and seem more negative about things every day. This will not play well against Thompson, and the fact that he will be very weak on national defense will make him vulnerable to Guiliani. I don’t think Obama can beat either one.
So what I think happens is that Hillary wins the nomination and Obama accepts a position as her running mate, setting him up for a 2016 run. This would eliminate the “inexperienced” knock against him. Guiliani or Thompson wins the GOP bid, but the running mate issue will be intriguing.
Personally, I think Duncan Hunter has set himself up as an ideal running mate. This guy’s platform on the issues is incredible and his record is very appealing. Plus he could bring California into play. Condi Rice is also a possibility, but her connection to Bush may be too much of a liability. But what if Thompson wins? Would he ask Guiliani or McCain to be on the ticket? This could be huge, since it would bring in some blue-dog dems and many other moderates. I don’t know, but I think this campaign is shaping up to be very interesting.