This week’s Resmussen Reports GOP primary poll update reveals no clear leader in the race for the Republican nomination. Fred Thompson leads Rudy Giuliani 25%-23%, but this is within the poll’s margin of error, thus meaning that the race is even.

This week was the fourth straight week that Thompson has led Giuliani, but the problem for both of the top Republicans is that neither one of them seems to be able to gain any momentum. Thompson has never been at 30% or above in this poll, and Giuliani hasn’t been at that level since May 1.

Thompson has seriously uinderwhelmed many with a campaign that is so low key, I am beginning to worder if the Republicans haven’t found their very own John Kerry. Thompson also didn’t do himself any favors with religious voters when he admitted that he doesn’t attend church every Sunday. While Giuliani has his own problems as a group of influential social conservative leaders, including Tony Perkins and James Dobson, got together last weekend and announced that they would be willing to back a conservative third party candidate if Giuliani wins the Republican nomination. The message sent by these leaders was clearly, anybody but Rudy.

Mitt Romney was third at 12%. Romney is actually the only Republican for whom money will not be an issue, but he has seen his lead in neighboring New Hampshire evaportate to three points, and is facing an uphill battle if he somehow does not win both New Hampshire and Iowa. The good news for Mitt is that he is running a strong third in South Carolina, and he looks like the candidate who is likely to step in if either Thompson or Giuliani stumbles. In fourth is John McCain at 10%, and it will take a New Hampshire miracle to keep his struggling campaign alive.

In fifth place is running mate in waiting Mike Huckabee at 6%. Huckabee just isn’t connecting with voters so far, but his Southern roots and smooth speaking style would make him a welcome addition to either a Thompson or Giuliani topped ticket. Sam Brownback, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, and Ron Paul each split 4% of the vote, and 19% of those surveyed remain undecided.

Right now, I see the Republican race as wide open, but if Romney can win big early it will be a three person race, otherwise it will come down to a choice between Thompson and Giuliani. I still think this race might not be decided until the convention, and it will be interesting to see if the pressure tactics of the social conservatives will be enough to deny Giuliani the nomination.

Rasmussen weekly tracking poll history

Related Rasmussen article 

Jason Easley is the politics editor at www.411mania.com/politics His column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Jason is also the host of TPU Radio, which can be heard at www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse every Sunday morning at 11 AM ET.

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