Thompson gains as Romney falls - but don't read too much into it

Thompson's bounce has been felt for a few days now. He caught up or passed Giuliani in national polls, and is threatening him in states like SC or FL. But now comes new insight that Thompson's rise is hurting Romney much more than Giuliani. In fact, Romney is rapidly bleeding his support to Thompson.

Full analysis here, on CampaignDiaries.com

From today's national ARG poll:

Giuliani and Thompson are within a point, 24% and 23% respectively. A month ago, Giuliani led by 11 (27% to 16%). McCain is stable at 14% (13% a month ago). But Romney has collapsed: He is at 9%, down from last month's 16%.

The daily Rasmussen's poll tell a similar story: Thompson leads 28% to 19% for Giuliani, with is a remarkable rise for only a few days. McCain is at 13% and Romney has 10%. Rasmussen adds that this is the first time in months that McCain has passed Romney!

Romney had spent months moving his way up, building name-ID and had finally been rewarded last month with the Ames straw poll victory. He had risen a bit more after winning that straw poll. But Thompson's entrance seems to have cut his momentum entirely, and taken away all the support he had gained in the past few months.

Yet, this suggests that the type of voter who moved to Romney in the past few weeks and is now leaving him for Thompson is the voter who moves easily from candidate to candidate depending on who has the most momentum or who appears more on TV. In other words, Thompson's edge is as fragile as Romney's was. If Brownback suddenly catches fire, except these 7-8% of voters to fly in his direction.

Romney's strength has always been his advantage in Iowa and in New Hampshire. If he pulls off victories there - and there is no indication he is slipping in these early states - the momentum he will gain will more than compensate any of his current losses to Thompson.

More at CampaignDiaries.com.

Tags: ARG, Giuliani, mccain, Rasmussen, Republican primary, Romney, Thompson (all tags)

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