Thompson Moves Up, McCain Drops To Fourth In New National Poll

Does McCain's numbers, as they spiral downward, remind you of Joe Lieberman last cycle? It sure looks like Thompson is going to move right into contender status. The in-trade numbers of the top four (as if they are leading indicators) are: Giuliani 25, McCain 18, Thompson 25, Romney 23. And it appears that Gingrich, with Thompson getting in, has no opening at all (unless Thompson really stumbles). Jerome

In a new national poll from Insider Advantage potential GOP candidate Fred Thompson has moved up with second place and Sen. John McCain has dropped to fourth.

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani leads in firthst place and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is in third place. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has moved up to fifth place which is apparently the highest showing he has had so far in a national poll.

Rudy Giuliani - 28%
Fred Thompson -19%
Mitt Romney 17%
John McCain -16%
Mike Huckabee- 4%
Sam Brownback -3%
Duncan Hunter- 2%
Ron Paul - 2%
Jim Gilmore - 1%

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Where did all those Contributions come from?

I came across an interesting map from the NYT a couple days ago which I posted a link to in an open thread.  It shows where the contributions for the presidential candidates came from.  I kept playing around with it, and decided to post a few things.  Then I found a chart from USA Today that filled in a few more details.  Unfortunately, not everything matched up, but I tried my best to make it work.  So, who got the most money from PACs?  Who got the most maxed contributions?  Who got the most money in each state?  Well if you want bragging rights, or are just curious, here you go.

PACs: 1st John McCain- $304,698; 2nd Chris Dodd- $295,500
Party: 1st Jim Gilmore- $250; 2nd John Edwards- $200
Self: 1st Sam Brownback- $25
Under $200: 1st Barack Obama- $5,384,178; 2nd John McCain- $2,204,080
$2,300: 1st Hillary Clinton- $19,173,040; 2nd Barack Obama- $12,628,038

(For states, see below)

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2008: Dewey Beats Hillary?

[Cross-posted at ProgressiveHistorians, Daily Kos, and My Left Wing.]

Five months ago, I wrote a diary in which I compared the current crop of GOP 2008 hopefuls with their counterparts in 1948.  In that year, New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey, a respected but uncharismatic bedrock conservative, walked away with the Republican nomination over the likes of Robert Taft, Arthur Vandenberg, and Harold Stassen.  The 2008 GOP candidates were similar to those of 1948, I argued, but with one notable exception: there was no respected conservative voice like Dewey in the field.  I explored what might have happened if Dewey had been disgraced or suffered serious injury just prior to the nominating convention:

My theory: since the left flank of the GOP was in a dogfight between the gravitas of Vandenberg and the shoe leather of Stassen, it's Taft who stood to capitalize most on the hypothetical removal of Dewey.  Possibly the heavily-recruited Warren could have won on a party unity platform based on star power rather than issues, but all indications are that Warren didn't feel it was his time yet to push for the nomination.  (He would try that four years later, when he lost to Dwight Eisenhower; when he made noise about running against Eisenhower again in 1956, the President shut him up for good by appointing him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.)  No, the most likely scenario I can envision is that without Dewey, the ultraconservative Taft wins.  (The nomination, not the presidency; if Dewey couldn't beat Truman, I doubt Taft would have had a chance.)

Extrapolating via comparison to the present, I argued that Taft's equivalent in 2008, Sam Brownback, stood to benefit the most from the lack of a Dewey-like figure in the field.  Despite the efforts of McCain and Romney to fill Dewey's ghostly shoes, I believed, the hole in the field would remain largely unfilled, allowing Brownback to squeak to victory on his ultraconservative platform.  I come now to revise that interpretation.

It seems 2008's Tom Dewey is preparing to enter the field.

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Huckabee Says No to Arkansas Senate Race

The number of states in which the Republicans have a realistic chance of picking up Democratic Senate seats is rather small, and it perhaps got even smaller last week when the GOP's best and probably only chance of offering a significant challenge to Arkansas' freshman Democratic Senator Mark Pryor announced that he will not mount a bid for the upper chamber of Congress. Aaron Sadler has the story for the Northwest Arkansas Morning News.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Friday he remains focused on his 2008 presidential bid and will not challenge Sen. Mark Pryor next year.

"The rumors have been out there, and I need to put them to bed. I don't see it happening," Huckabee said of the possibility he would end his run for president to take on Pryor, a first-term Democrat, in a Senate race.

"There are no ifs on this one. I have a race I'm in, and I'm committed to it."


Without Huckabee, the party "is going to have to go to the bench, but it's decimated here in the state," said Richard Wang, a political science professor at Arkansas State University.


Democrats shut Republicans out of every constitutional office at the state Capitol last year.

Despite the denial on the part of Huckabee, there is always the potential that he will drop his presidential bid, say after a poor showing in the Ames GOP straw poll in the fall, and decide to make a pass at Pryor. Yet even with Huckabee in the race, it's a far from a foregone conclusion that the Republicans would be able to win the seat. In 2002, a historically strong year for Republicans, Pryor defeated the then-incumbent Republican Senator Tim Hutchinson by a healthy 8-point margin -- the only Democrat to pick up a seat during the cycle.

And even though the Republicans would not be assured of a pick-up with Huckabee in the mix, they're almost assured of not having a competitive race without him. As mentioned in the article above, the Republicans really don't have a bench in Arkansas. Perhaps they could run Asa Hutchinson, brother of the former Senator and a former Congressman, U.S. Attorney and Bush administration official in his own right, against Pryor, but this Hutchison was defeated even more soundly than his brother was in 2002 when he ran for governor last fall, losing an open seat race by 14 points.

So given the fact that Arkansas, at least on paper, should have been the Republicans second or third best pick-up opportunity in the Senate this cycle, the fact that no serious GOP candidate is even coming close to lining up for the race and that the best potential candidate is effectively saying no, we have yet another indication that things are just not lining up for Senate Republicans as they would like it to.

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2008 Nominees and Third Party Candidates

One important facet that has largely been ignored so far in discussing the 2008 presidential candidates is which ones are likely to draw third or even fourth party candidates into the race.  This largely overlooked factor could be crucial in determining the electability of various candidates.  Follow me over to the flip for my view of which candidates are likely to draw 3rd party challenges to the detriment of their party.

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