The Handwriting is On the Wall
Let's take a look at the numbers. as the numbers stand, Fred Trails front runner Mitt by, wait for it, 13 delegates, 8 to 21, Now then, just how many delegates does it take to capture the nomination? A piddly 1259. Looked at another way, Romney still needs 1228 delegates while Fred needs 1251.
Yeah, that's a landslide alright.
Drop Dead Fred; It Isn’t Just a Bad Movie Anymore
The People’s Choice?
I mean, I like what the guy has to say, but I would like the chance to hear him say it in person, you know?
Fred is In. Errr, well, sort of.
ACK has responded to this somewhat embarrassing development by noting that the formerly "too lazy to run" candidate has lost weight and gotten in shape while preparing to run, and is now "too fit to win."
Gotta give the man credit; he's consistent.
Let's review, shall we?
Mar 19, 2007
Fred Thompson has a history of this kind of nonsense. He is known for having a lot of theoretical ideas about what he would like to do — but not much follow through.
I cannot say it enough. Fred Thompson will not run for President.
Mar 19, 2007
This surge of support for Fred Thompson is about image, not substance. There is no important issue of the day that is going unheralded in this primary.
This is what the Republican Party has come to: pining away for a good actor, a salesman, who can play the part and sell a bankrupt schismatic conservatism. It is unseemly and disgraceful.
Mar 20, 2007
All of this is not to say that there is a severe vacuum in the Republican primary electorate. There is.What a difference a day makes...Just yesterday, there wasn't ideological room for Fred to run.
Katherine, I’ll see that cookie and raise you a C-note. Thompson and his acolytes are encouraging this groundswell just in case but when it comes right down to it, he’ll pass.Will Katherine collect her $100 prize? Stay tuned...
Mar 21, 2007
I also do not think, not for one minute, that he will run. Whether it is out of a distaste of retail politics, of doing what is necessary to win, or whether it is out of concern for his new family, I believe Fred Thompson will defer.
But today, you say he'll lose the general election. Playing both sides, Mr. K?
What I do not question is his skills as an actor and politician. If Fred wants this and goes, excuse my French, balls to the wall in pursuit of the prize — he will win. The nomination certainly and likely the Presidency.
April 2, 2007
The idle speculation and sycophantic boosterism regarding a Fred Thompson Presidential candidacy has begun to morph into something else.Is he about to see the light?
I will admit, at this point, a Thompson Presidential candidacy is a real possibility. But, is it a probability?Nahhh!
Most people now say yes. I am still gonna say no.
April 4, 2007
I am no Thompson partisan, as we all know, but this is a great opportunity for all those sycophantic Internet boosters to truly show their muscle.You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
April 6, 2007
He dated extensively and he dated smart women and even after the affairs were over they have nothing but good things to say.Huh? Generally women who have been lied to rarely have good things to say about the guy who lied to them. ACK is getting unbalanced here.
Like any player, he likely let these women think something that was not reality. Fred Thompson supporters may need to wake up to the fact that ole Fred may just be playing them like he did Lorrie Morgan and Margaret Carlson.
Fred Thompson is still more likely not to run than to make this race. Believe.Finishing the quote from Ripleys: or not!
April 18, 2007
He doesn’t need to run a traditional campaign. Fred comes into this race with a tremendous advantage. His name and his face are known. His political skills and communication skills are unmatched.Mr. K is a true believer!
I’ll have to see the clip but, if the character is at all nuanced, it will harder to dismiss as “just playing a role.” After all, much of the talk on Fred has been that he isn’t really a good actor and that he plays himself, more or less.ACK achieves a new low by playing the "I'm not saying he's a racist, but he did play one on TV..." card.
If that is true and he gave an authentic portrayal of a white nationalist, the question has to be asked: how deep did he have to dig to find that character?
Fred Thompson, in my opinion, will be the Republican nominee come the summer of 2008. And come fall 2008, he will become what he was until recently — a retired politician.
You may ask why I went to the trouble of digging up Mr. Kleinheider's posts on Fred. After all, it seems like I'm just rubbing his face in it, and I guess I am a little. I can understand the desire to be the contrarian, but ACK was downright nasty during the past couple of months, disparaging backers of Fred as sycophants and boosters, claiming that the whole thing was a carefully orchestrated ploy, and even stooping to smear tactics with the whole racist thing, and the constant references to Fred's social life. He's gone far beyond being a contrarian, and ventured into partisan political hack territory.
I think what really got me going was his attempt to pass off the last two month's worth of anti Thompson posts as "skepticism." Rereading the quotes above, the word 'skepticism' isn't the first that comes to mind.
Strength in Numbers
Thompson contrarian AC ( Fred won't run. He's not going to run. He can't run. OK, he might run, but probably not. He probably will run.)Kleinheider says in one post that Fred is polling well because he's famous, then in a later post says Fred isn't really famous at all.
The two relevant quotes:
Yes, Thompson is polling impressively without officially declaring himself a candidate. But you have to remember a lot of the polls at this stage are tallying name recognition and public perception.
On the flipside however, his lack of true celebrity is just that. He simply isn't all that famous.
So according to ACK, Fred only polls well because he's famous, but he also polls well because he's not really famous.
I'm sorry; that's just a bit too nuanced for me. It sound too much like a guy who is twisting every fact in order to support a preconceived conclusion, rather than letting the facts speak for themselves.
Let's try a different approach. Let's look at the facts first, and then form a conclusion.
Looking at the Rasmussen poll details, we see that Thompson does have a problem with a lack of name recognition. 37% of likely voters don't know enough about Fred to classify him as conservative, liberal, or moderate. Even 30% of Republicans don't know enough about him to classify his ideology. So the question we have to ask is how he can poll so well when fully 1/3rd of likely voters don't know about him?
One possible answer is that those who do know about him like him. A lot. Looking deeper into the Rasmussen numbers, we see that among independent voters, Thompson enjoys a 33/26 favorable/unfavorable rating, with a whopping 40% not knowing him well enough. But what is more interesting is the pattern of the numbers. It should come as no surprise that most people rate Thompson in the "somewhat" categories; that dovetails with his relative lack of name recognition. But what is interesting is that the independent voter pattern follows the Republican voter pattern, indicating potential strength among independent voters.
Now let's do a little extrapolating. I'm going to assume that as people get to know more about Fred, they'll break down the same way the majority in their group already have. I think this is a conservative measure and may actually understate the actual support he'll get as he declares,and I'll explain why this is in a moment. If the undecideds of each group (Republican, Democrat, Independent) track along with their majorities, Fred should wind up with about a 55%/45% favorable/unfavorable rating. Compare that with McCain's 49%/43%.
Now I said this was a conservative extrapolation, and here's why. Let's take a look at the GOP Straw poll. This is not a scientific poll, and the results will be skewed, so we can't take any actual numbers out of it, but we can spot trends, particularly within the most active elements the Republican party. As of the time I write this, Fred Thompson has an overwhelming lead with over 51% of the total vote.
Big deal. We're just bloggers, and if nothing else, Howard Dean proved the bloggers alone cannot win an election.
But once again, let's look deeper into the numbers.
Let's filter out everyone except for the RINOs, the most moderate/liberal portion of the GOP. How did they vote? Well, contrary to what you might expect, Fred and Rudy tied for first place with 22% of the vote. Now think about that for a minute. The most moderate portion of the GOP blogosphere does not favor Giuliani over Thompson. In fact, looking down further, we find that these moderate Republicans hold a more favorable view of Thompson than they do of Giuliani. (To add insult to injury, if you filter the data for just New Yorkers, Thompson still beats Giuliani handily.)
That is important. That is a big deal. If Fred enters the race, we can expect to see Giuliani lose a great deal of support among the grassroots and activists who dominate the primaries.(More on that in a minute)(See UPDATE below for evidence.)
Let's take a look at another number from the GOP straw poll. Selecting for certainty of vote, of the poll respondents who were most certain of their vote, Thompson wins with 53%. It gets worse for Giuliani, for among those respondents who were least committed to their candidate, Fred still garnered 3 times the votes of Giuliani.
So why are these trends important? Looking at Fred's strong support among the moderate and undecided portions of the GOP indicates that his numbers among independents will break more favorably than I extrapolated. Even more importantly, the Rasmussen group "likely voters" is not necessarily the same as "likely primary voters." Take Missouri for example. In the Missouri Democratic Primary, there were 413,000 votes. In the general election, there were 1.26 million Democratic votes. This means that in Missouri, only the most active 1/3 of likely voters participate in primary voting.
So what do you want to bet that those active likely voters are disproportionately represented among bloggers or blog readers?
So now the GOP straw poll does become a big deal, or at least a bigger deal, anyway. To some extent, and it's difficult to say precisely how much, it represent not just likely voters, but likely primary voters, and Thompson's huge lead in that group is a major campaign advantage.
It remains to be seen if he can capitalize on that advantage, or if he'll squander it as did Howard Dean, although to be fair, Dean was hulled amidships by his own party, as the DNC was determined to field a more traditional candidate. Thompson could fall afoul of the same political machinations if the RNC decides to throw its weight behind McCain or Giuliani the same way they did for Dubya in 2000. But given Thompson's broad based appeal, that doesn't seem too likely at this point.
So where does this examination of the facts lead us? Well, despite a lack of name recognition, polling data suggests that Thompson garners support from the full breadth of the GOP, a situation that will help him in the general election. The fact that he dominates polling among the activists bodes well for the primaries. His broad based favorable ratings would seem to indicate that the undecideds will break markedly in his favor as they learn more about him, adding to the strength of his primary campaign. Additionally,as those who don't know him connect his face with his name, that should garner more support.
On the negative side, his lack of name recognition means that many people don't know where he stands on the issues. Nor do they have a good feel for his character. As Barry pointed out in a comment to an earlier post, we're missing crucial pieces of information about Fred, pieces that will have to be filled in over the next couple of months or so.
UPDATE The latest Q-poll shows Fred at 14% compared to Rudy's 27%. This would look bad for Fred except that in the last poll, which didn't include Fred, Rudy polled at 40%. Remember how I said a Fred Thompson candidacy would likely pull a lot of support away from Rudy? This is proof.