by Steven Ertelt
June 19, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new national poll on the Republican nomination for president shows Fred Thompson leading the way. This is the first time a national poll has shown anyone other than pro-abortion former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani leading the race.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds pro-life former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson with the support of 28% of likely Republican primary voters. Giuliani is second with 27 percent.
Rasmussen says it is the first time Giuliani has not led the race.
"While Thompson’s one-point edge is statistically insignificant, it is the first time all year that anybody but Giuliani has been on top in Rasmussen Reports polling," the polling company said in a memo on its survey.
The two were tied at 24 percent a week ago and the result is significant because Thompson has not formally entered the race.
"It remains an open question as to how Thompson will hold up once he actually enters the campaign and has to compete directly with other candidates," Rasmussen wrote in its poll report. "To date, he retains the allure of the new kid in town while GOP voters already know the things they don’t like about the others."
The survey found Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney tied for third place at 10 percent each. Last week both had the support of 11 percent of Republicans.
McCain, who opposes abortion but backs embryonic stem cell research, has seen his level of support steadily erode in recent weeks.
Romney has not been doing as well in national polls but is shown in first or second in several surveys of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two state with primary election battles.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, both of whom are considered the strongest pro-life candidates in the race, are tied with two percent each. Neither has been able to make a strong showing in polls with lack of money and name identification.
Other candidates combine for a total of three percent and another 18 percent of Republicans are unsure which candidate they will support.
Also of note, this is the first Rasmussen Reports poll to exclude former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who earned 7 percent in the last poll and has said he will not likely run. His exclusion likely helped Thompson, who id drawing support from conservative and pro-life Republicans not happy with the other top candidates.
The current Rasmussen survey is based upon national telephone interviews with 618 likely Republican Primary Voters conducted June 11-14, 2007.