Moreover, as anyone with a basic knowledge of polling (or even generic statistics) will tell you, people tend to say "yes" when the question is asked in a vacuum. This is why eg. "do you want more funding for schools?" and "do you want lower taxes?" will both get high "yes" votes, despite their being mutually exclusive.
At best, this shows that 2/3 of these voters wouldn't mind Clinton on the ticket. I honestly think the fact that 1/3 of the voters would, in fact, mind Clinton being on the ticket is far more significant; for this kind of question, it's much more difficult to say "no," which speaks to the amount of enmity against her.
I don't think the fact that he isn't Reagan matters, really. No, he isn't Reagan, but this is not Reagan's era, either. Thompson needs to capitalise on new currents to capture the current energy, and I think he has at least a hope of doing that, at least better than the other Republican contenders right now.
He's at least as competent as any of the other Republican candidates, and seems to be smart enough. That he is an actor shouldn't hurt him at all; regardless of his profession, the test should be whether he would do well. And I think it's a case he's making to the Republican voters on an emotional level, even if it isn't reaching us on the left, and even if it isn't true.
Even though Giuliani would without a doubt be the most formidable general election opponent, I think Thompson is much more palatable to the primary voters and still acceptable to the rest. I wouldn't be surprised to see him winning the nomination, or doing well in the general.
Certainly the people who threaten and attack, be they liberal or conservative, should be decried strongly. And, so too, should people have the right to speak their word.
But people should also have consequences for their actions. Marcotte's comments were, for better or worse, incredibly offensive to a very large number of people. They certainly had the right to be offensive, but at the same time, people have the right to say that it's offensive bigotry.
As for Donohue; although he is certainly a blowhard, I don't believe that he claimed to speak for the ecclesiastical authorities of the Church. He might have claimed to speak for Catholics, but that is something else entirely.