Thereâ€™s change at the top in the race for the Republican Presidential nomination.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson earning support from 28% of Likely Republican Primary Voters. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attracts support from 27%. While Thompsonâ€™s one-point edge is statistically insignificant, it is the first time all year that anybody but Giuliani has been on top in Rasmussen Reports polling. A week ago, Thompson and Giuliani were tied at 24%.
It remains an open question as to how Thompson will hold up once he actually enters the campaign and has to compete directly with other candidates. To date, he retains the allure of the new kid in town while GOP voters already know the things they donâ€™t like about the others. Still, Thompsonâ€™s rise to the top provides a telling measure of how the other GOP hopefuls have failed to capture the imagination of the party they hope to lead.
Once gain this week, Arizona Senator John McCain and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney are tied for a distant third. This week, both men attract 10% support. Last week, they were both at the 11% level of support. For McCain, this is a continuation of a downward trend. For Romney, it reflects a fairly steady position. Romney is doing well in selected state polls but has been unable to gain much traction and expand his support nationwide.
The GOP NUTS:
This is the first Rasmussen poll in which Newt Gingrich has been excluded.
Is this race boiling down to Rudy and Fred Thompson?
As Flap has said: watch for John McCain to drop out of the campaign after the summer if his poll numbers and fundraising do not improve. Mitt Romney will hang in there hoping that Thompson will fade after he formally enters the race and that he can parlay his leads in Iowa and New Hampshire into other states.
Rudy will continue to fund raise and get ready for the coming media campaigns in New Hampshire, Florida and California.
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