Local News

Thompson Grabs Lead In N.C. Primary Poll

Posted June 7, 2007

— North Carolina voters apparently want to put another actor in the White House.

According to a recent survey, Fred Thompson, a former U.S. senator from Tennessee who hasn't officially entered the presidential race, has jumped into the lead in the North Carolina Republican primary.

The survey, released by Public Policy Polling, shows 37 percent of likely Republican primary voters would vote for Thompson, who has gained fame in recent years playing a New York district attorney on the television show "Law & Order."

Thompson's showing is a 12 percent increase from a similar survey in May.

"You look at TV every day, and you see him on some TV show. You see him on the news. He's a rock star," Republican strategist Ballard Everett said. "I don't think any of the voters are terribly happy with anybody that's running for president right now."

Among announced GOP candidates, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was the favorite with 25 percent of likely Republican voters, while Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney both garnered 14 percent.

Peace College political science professor David McLennan said Thompson might look very presidential now, but when the hard questions come and his senate record is scrutinized during the campaign, the shine will wear.

"Voters are looking for something else, and that's what Thompson represents -- that something else," McLennan said. "He's really got it easy right now. The longer he waits, the better off he'll be. But he has to step in sometime."

Former U.S. Sen. John Edwards garnered 30 percent of likely Democratic primary voters in North Carolina. Twenty-six percent chose U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, and 22 percent picked U.S. Sen. Barack Obama.

Everett said both parties' races are so wide open that Republican and Democratic voters could still be undecided when the conventions roll around next summer. That would be a stark contrast to recent elections, when the nominees were foregone conclusions long before the conventions, he said.

The survey also showed that Lt. Gen. Bev Perdue continues to lead State Treasurer Richard Moore 34 percent to 30 percent for the Democratic gubernatorial  nomination. Another 35 percent of voters remain undecided.

Moore's support rose by a percentage point since officially announcing his candidacy two weeks ago, the survey showed.

On the GOP side, 56 percent of voters remain undecided among gubernatorial candidates. Nineteen percent support Bill Graham, an Salisbury attorney, while state Sen. Fred Smith received 13 percent of the vote and former state Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr garnered 12 percent.

Everett said the GOP candidates for governor have a lot of work to do.

"Undecided is way ahead, and if I knew that guy's name, I'd go see if I could sign on as a consultant. I think people just aren't focusing right now," he said.


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  • mvnull Jun 8, 2007

    [sigh] I really do know the difference between 'there' and 'their'. Really.

  • mvnull Jun 8, 2007

    LastRick, it was his statement of his stand on abortion at the time (not a 'survey'). His statements as indicated he was in favor of such things as parental consent. None of that is inconsistent with the votes you mention. My question is where he stands now, and if it is a change, what brought about the change? It is a relevant question since other Republican candidates have been attacked (by fellow Republicans) as "election year conservatives".

    Since you disclosed that you will not vote for him anyway, I'll also disclose that I am anti-abortion -- as I have mentioned, for example, on the capital punishment threads. I'd just like to know WHY people change there stands on things.

  • 68_polara Jun 8, 2007

    I'm so glad Fred has come out of nowhere. I hope he wins the nomination so bad because if either Mccain or Giuliani where to win the primary I'll end up staying home on election day.

  • ted_d_bear Jun 8, 2007

    I'm really torn between F. Thompson and Duncan Hunter. I would like to support Duncan Hunter, but sadly he doesn't seem to be popular enough. I would love to see a Thompson/Hunter ticket.

  • LastRick Jun 8, 2007

    Good try, mvnull. You're quoting a "survey" (not a vote) from 13 years ago. In the meantime, he voted to ban human cloning (1998), voted to ban partial abortions (1999) and voted to maintain a ban on abortions occurring on military bases (2000). Clearly, he is VERY pro-life when it matters most -- i.e. voting. Once again, I'm voting for Ron Paul, but I wasn't going to let you try to mislead others on here with your cherry-picking.

  • fredssmithisnotmysenator Jun 8, 2007

    Law and Order is a great show...therefore, Fred Thompson surely will be a great president.

  • believer58 Jun 8, 2007

    Dems....as long as you continue to shove your left of left down our throats those of us in the middle will keep the Great State of NC leaning right.

    Continuing with your "blaming Bush because the sun didn't happen to shine on your world today" is not a winning strategy.
    It is more like "I can't think of a good reason for voting for Me myself, so I will just make the other guy look bad in an attempt to make me look better".

    That one worked soooooooooo well for you in '04.

    Can you guys not buy yourselves a moderate?

    With Pelosi, Reed, et.el running the Congress, there is little hope for you to take the White House in '08.

    A true constitutional candidate will be necessary to keep the balance.

    I look forward to hearing Thompson's views on immigration, national security, limits of government, social security reform, tax reform, and "personal responsibility".

  • lizard Jun 8, 2007

    Where's Newt?

  • mvnull Jun 8, 2007

    "Thompson is very pro-life...." In 1994, he stated he supported abortion in the first trimester (see the before-mentioned smart vote). So, which is it?

  • LastRick Jun 7, 2007

    patriots, you're half right. Yes, Thompson is very pro-life (his voting record certainly proves that) but I fail to see how Republican voters should need "be careful", as you put it. I would think he's their perfect candidate for their agenda as opposed to your less-than-subtle plug Rudy. This is the problem with Rudy and Romney, they are only Republicans by comparison (NY and Mass.); in any other state there's no way those guys are on a GOP ticket. I personally like Ron Paul (I voted Badnarik in '04) but I certainly understand why Thompson is so desirable to the GOP and scary for the Democrats.