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Rasmussen Reports: 2008 Republican Presidential Primary

Giuliani 30% McCain 14% Thompson 14%

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani remains on top in the race for the GOP nomination and now enjoys support from 30% of Likely Voters. That’s more than twice the total of any other candidate. Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson and Arizona Senator John McCain are tied for second at 14%.

Thompson has been in the 12% to 14% range for each of the five surveys since his name was floated as a possible candidate.

McCain, once considered the dominant frontrunner, has struggled in recent months. His support among Likely GOP Primary voters has fallen eight percentage points since January. His numbers now are strongest among independents likely to vote in a Republican Primary. In Election 2000, McCain did best in open primaries that allowed independents to vote. Then Governor Bush did best in Primary states where only Republicans could vote.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney remains the only other candidate in double digits. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich remains in fifth place with 8% support.

The GOP NUTS:

Rudy – 30%

Thompson – 14%

McCain – 14%

Romney – 11%

Gingrich – 8%

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Analysis:

Rudy has consolidated and maintained his lead while his main competitor, John McCain has collapsed in the polls. His other competitor, Mitt Romney has languished around 10 per cent.

So, what does this mean?

Rudy’s fundraising should be enhanced with McCain’s collapse as he looks like an inevitable GOP winner. Fred Thompson’s candidacy is a wild card but it is very late in the game, particularly for organization and fundraising.

Mitt Romney will stay in the race and hold Thompson back as the only candidate that can beat Giuliani and will divide conservative votes and campaign dollars. Will Romney withdraw?

Doubtful – although Flap will be surprised if he will ever receive more than 15% of the vote.  He can always pray for a Rudy Gaffe or collapse.
With this poll, it appears that Thompson will get into the game – and why not?

Will McCain withdraw? and support Thompson?

Possible – especially if McCain’s fuindraising collapses.

But, for Thompson he will have to make up almost $40 million in fundraising that Rudy has in the bank.

The GOP debate in California should be a non-starter on Thursday with the second place candidate in the polls not having announced his candidacy.

Strange indeed……..

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