December 26, 2007

THE FINISHING TOUCH:

Can Fred Win?: Huckabee has a headstart, but Thompson’s a strong finisher (Frank Cagle, 12/26/07, Knoxville Metro Pulse)

Favorite son Fred Thompson got into the presidential race running against Rudy Giuliani. Now he’s running against Mike Huckabee. The arc of this campaign keeps changing and now Fred finds himself in Iowa this holiday season fighting to stay in the race. [...]

Should Iowa voters get tired of the Romney-Huckabee slugfest, some of them are likely to turn to Thompson. Thompson’s picked up the endorsement of the most influential conservative congressman in Iowa, and he turned in an outstanding debate performance in Des Moines. Even normally critical pundits had to concede it.

So if the Huckabee momentum is significantly slowed in Iowa and Romney wins as had been expected for the past year, Huckabee lacks the momentum to do a lot of damage in New Hampshire. The Granite State has never been particularly kind to Southerners; that’s one reason Thompson hasn’t spent a lot of time there.

Should McCain turn out the independent vote and do really well in New Hampshire, it further undercuts the Huckabee boomlet. So when they get to South Carolina, Thompson may be back where he began, with South Carolina as his break-out state.

But there are a lot of ifs and buts in all this—and anything can happen. It’s why we let the people vote instead of letting the pollsters and the pundits pick the president.

When Thompson gets his ads on the air and hits his stride he can make up a lot of ground. So don’t give up on Fred. He started way behind and he started slowly in his first Senate race in Tennessee. But he came on in the end for a strong finish.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 26, 2007 1:51 PM
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