While having not officially declared his candidacy for the 2008 GOP nomination, the AP is reporting that former actor turned senator then actor again Fred Thompson is taking steps in the next week towards officially launching his campaign. Thompson will soon set up a committee called “Friends of Fred Thompson.” The committee will allow him to raise money and hire staff. Thompson will have to raise lots of money fast if he is going to be competitive with the top tier of the GOP, but what excites some conservatives is that Thompson would be a candidate with true conservative credentials.

Thompson would be a major factor in the race and probably pull votes from the two candidates with the most dubious conservative credentials, Giuliani and Romney. Giuliani is already making the pitch that he can be more competitive in the “blue states” than a candidate like Thompson can. After listing the states that went Democratic in 2004 Rudy said, “Those are all states Republicans gave away in the past and the Democrats took for granted. … It doesn’t mean I’ll win all of them, but if I win my fair share of them, then I’ll get elected.” Here is the problem with Rudy’s logic, with the exception on New York he might not win any of them, and his liberal views will cost him votes in the “red states.” Giuliani should be very worried about that Southerner Fred Thompson, because what Thompson does is get about 12% of the GOP primary support, and turn the Republican field into a four person race.

The problem with Fred Thompson is that as much as some conservatives wish he was, he isn’t Ronald Reagan. He doesn’t possess Reagan’s personality. Thompson is also a 64 year old white male, in a GOP field full of old white guys. In Rasmussen Reports polls Thompson loses to all of the top Democratic candidates in hypothetical head to head match ups. Obama beats Thompson by 7%, Edwards beats Thompson by 21%. Thompson, like all the other GOP hopefuls, runs close to Hillary Clinton. Clinton beats Thompson 47%-44%, but due to Hillary’s lack of popularity, any GOP candidate will run close to her. Thompson or not, it looks like the Republicans best hope for 2008 might still be that Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination.

Rasmussen Reports

Related AP article

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

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse  blog radio 

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