April 12, 2007

LA Times Poll: Fred Gains As McCain Drops Back

The Los Angeles Times reports on its latest polling for the Republican presidential primaries, and the only one who should be smiling is the scowlin' Volunteer, Fred Thompson. Rudy Giuliani polls at less than 30%, while McCain drops behind his good friend into a distant third place:

Sen. John McCain, once considered the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has fallen to third place in a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, and is running behind Fred Thompson, an actor and former senator who has not even entered the race.

Former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani leads the crowded field of announced and potential contenders with support from 29% of probable Republican primary voters surveyed, followed by Thompson with 15% and McCain with 12%. Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and a fundraising powerhouse, had 8%.

The Arizona senator's showing in the poll is his lowest in any national survey to date, marking a new benchmark in his flagging fortunes. The surge of interest in Thompson is a sign of conservative dissatisfaction with the established field of candidates and underscores just how unsettled the Republican race remains.

Allahpundit notes that this is more bad news for John McCain. He's scaling back the staffing in his campaign, which is never a good sign, and it reflects a general retreat in his support. Fred Thompson has vaulted past him, although the polling took place before Thompson's announcement on his health,

It seems strange that McCain's numbers within the party would decline as they have. Those who feel uncomfortable with McCain have felt that way for a few years; if anything, McCain's party-line campaign should gain him some traction, not lose it. However, the LA Times finds the reason for McCain's fade and the strength of Rudy Giuliani's front-runner status:

The survey also shows significant Republican desire to move beyond the George W. Bush era: 61% of Republican voters surveyed said they wanted the next GOP nominee to campaign on a platform of moving in a new direction. Only 30% said the nominee should call for continuing Bush policies.

For better or worse, McCain has come to represent the GWB establishment among Republicans since he chose to become the most energetic supporter of the war in Iraq. While the other GOP candidates all support the surge, none of them have the personal attachment to the war that McCain has forged. It's a courageous stand -- I genuinely admire McCain for taking it -- but it's costing him dearly.

Thompson, in the meantime, seems poised to fill the white-knight role. He scores well among Christian conservatives, outpolling all other candidates, including (unsurprisingly) Rudy Giuliani. He hasn't even announced yet, and at least in the LA Times poll, he has become the number two candidate for the Republicans. If he renounces the BCRA, he'll probably open within a few points of Rudy nationwide.

The results for the Democrats held few surprises. Hillary Clinton continues to outpace the field, while Barack Obama has cemented his status as her most significant challenger. Obama has taken some of the working-class vote away from John Edwards, who has not improved his position much at all. Obama still trails Clinton in the black vote, another longer-term trend that does not appear to have changed between different polls. The biggest surprise? Despite the national-security focus of the GOP candidates, the Iraq war is more important to Democrats than Republicans in selecting their candidate.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference LA Times Poll: Fred Gains As McCain Drops Back:

» 2007.04.12 Politics Roundup from Bill's Bites
Updated from the top. Please treat this as a blog-within-a-blog, come back often, and scroll down till you hit something you saw on your last visit. LAT poll: Rudy 29, Fred! 15, McCain 12 LA Times Poll: Fred Gains As [Read More]

Comments (19)

Posted by Stephen Macklin [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 3:38 PM

McCain's problems can be best summarized with two words that conservatives will always hear after mention of his name: Fiengold and Kennedy.

Posted by Fight4TheRight [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 3:52 PM


I agree whole heartedly with you. Some may say McCain's ONLY redeeming stance is his stance on the Iraq War.

At the same time, beyond the two words you put forward, I would add three: Gang of 14

Posted by Mr Bob [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 4:08 PM

I could not disagree more with this statement "For better or worse, McCain has come to represent the GWB establishment among Republicans since he chose to become the most energetic supporter of the war in Iraq."


His stance on the war is his only redeeming quality. Don't fall into the beltway thinking that all of America is so sick of the war we don't care if we win. McCain has made MANY mistakes in the last 10 years....and we remember them.

That is the reason he will not win...we don't like him...has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the war.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 4:13 PM

I think McCain would make a good Secretary of Defense even if he can not win the White House. But it really is awful early.

I wonder how long it will take Republicans to turn on Thompson? I like the guy, but I know that there will always be things about any candidate that I will not agree with. This is just the way it works.

I have notice however, after Harriet Miers and Dubai and Katrina and Iraq and immigration, and Gonzales and a host of other issues that Republicans don't stick behind their people very well. But hopefully, if Thompson does get the nomination, they will wait until after he wins the White House to attack him.

Posted by John Norris Brown [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 4:16 PM

For the first time in years I'm starting to like McCain and he immediately starts falling off in the polls.

Posted by JeanM [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 4:35 PM

McCain is in trouble with conservatives because he's been a jackass for 20 years. His stance on the war is the ONLY thing to like about the man; other than that, he's done nothing for us during his stint in the Senate. Has he led the charge for anything pro-life? No. Smaller government? No. Reducing taxes? No. In fact, he opposed Bush's tax cuts for the last 5 years - 2 senate votes by a republican AGAINST tax cuts. That alone should make him ineligible to run for President. Trampling political free speech via campaign finance reform -- again, ineligible to ask for the Republican nomination.

I joined the Giuliani camp simply because he's the guy most likely to beat McCain. I've come to believe that the danger to our country, to our very culture, from the Islamofascists is so dire that we must choose the candidate most likely to properly understand the enemy and what it will take to win the GWOT. That is Giuliani. Even if it means diverging from the pro-life cause for a few years. Even if McCain weren't a jackass.

Posted by Carol_Herman [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 5:53 PM

Now, don't go cashing in your tickets, yet. The race is far from over!

Heck, it hasn't even rolled into position.

What's missing from this race is having enough people paying attention, that the insiders can spot the one with the most electability going into the race. That comes in November 2008. Boy. Is that a distance away!

And, McCain? Wasn't it said that the only shot he had was to be hillary's veep? And, then there were discussions of his saddling her up; and running, himself, at the top of the donk's ticket.

So, when you say McCain is losing steam, it seems it's "that" position that got eroded. (Still, Obama says he won't be hillary's veep.) Hmm?

Just about all the "favorite sons" are taking to the field.

Lincoln, though, showed, you could enter the WHIG-Wam, in 4th place. But the problems with favorite sons, is that they're only strong in one part. Of the whole. One state. Or one issue.

If your team doesn't win? Lots of men who worked hard for their candidate go home without jobs.

The candidate who does not get mean, is the candidate that gets to stand up throughout a long campaigning season. (Lincoln's Rule.)

Posted by conservative democrat [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 6:02 PM

McCain has lost favor on both sides of the aisle. He's become a pariah. I still believe his cheerleading on the war has hurt him in a country that is increasingly turning against the CIVIL WAR IN IRAQ.

Posted by The Mechanical Eye [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 6:33 PM

Thompson's strength is wide but shallow - its mainly based on Law and Order appearances, his Paul Harvey fill-in commentary, and his "tell-it-like-it-is" attitude. That and several million dollars might get you 5 percent in a primary.

Sure, his attitude resonates with voters -- but so did Lee Iacocca's half-serious rumblings years ago, and that went no where.

Thompson is the kind of dream candidate who's a few gaffes away from losing his sheen. He has no real heart for the grueling campaign trail and no stomach for working on policy.

He's just a mirage for Republicans to behold while they wander in the upcoming 2008 electoral desert.


Posted by Neo [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 9:44 PM

McCain has come to represent the GWB establishment

You have got to kidding. McCain morphed into what represents all the worst of Republican moderates. Their flirting with the Democrats, and utter disregard for the 1st amendment rights for anyone other than themselves. McCain also had no love for the 2nd amendment.

I won't be shedding any tears if John goes down in a ball of flames.

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 11:32 PM

+1 on the "Since when did 'Maverick' McCain become part of the GWB establishment?" question. For years the joke has been that he should be described in news reports ad Sen. McCain (R, Media) and that the most dangerous place to be was between him & a TV camera.

Posted by spectregunner [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 12, 2007 11:46 PM

The issue with McCain is not that he is too closely associated with GWB, it is that he has become a backstabbing SOB who would run over his own grandmother in the quest to be King.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 13, 2007 12:20 AM

What McCain's strong numbers have represented to most of us out here in the Real world along with Giuliani and Mitt and other RINOS is "Dah Ahnold Man Syndrome", where a small and overheated faction of the GOP thinks they can blackmail and stampede the rest of us to jump on board with them, in order to avoid voting for a loser that ~they~ are not backing.

Most folks I know ain't blackmail-able.

We didn't bite when they tried to force-feed us on Ford or Dole - this little cart of wannabe's isn't EVEN enticing to us!

They don't EVEN remind us of what we are looking for, and there is NOTHING to be gained by backing their play - just as Conservatives had to find out the HARD WAY in California, when they jumped on board with Dah Ahnold Man " 'cause he is the best we are gonna be able to do, given what we have to work with".

So laughing out loud.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 13, 2007 12:27 AM

Let's put it this way, when you are diamond hunting, because you have found a precious and sweet, beautiful young lady and you want to convince her to spend the rest of her life with you, and you want her to know how much you value her lifetime commitment to you, the first thing you learn to do is to pass up the broken bits of the coca cola bottle strewn all over the ground, everywhere.

That is how easy it is going to be for most folks to pass up these RINOS. Just like passing up broken pieces of coca cola bottles. These RINOS don't even COMPREHEND the qualities we are looking for, much less POSSESS them.

Posted by Rose [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 13, 2007 12:37 AM

He's just a mirage for Republicans to behold while they wander in the upcoming 2008 electoral desert.


Posted by: The Mechanical Eye



Most folks with a gleam in their eye for him don't KNOW he voted FOR McCain Feingold and AGAINST IMPEACHMENT - and thinks that this was a very strong CONSERVATIVE position for him to take! He feels it was the right thing to do.

That is what he said yesterday (Wed. April 11th) on Sean Hannity's radio show when Sean warned him he would have to answer to Conservatives for those two votes among others.

I won't vote for McCain's friend.

Posted by Adjoran [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 13, 2007 1:14 AM

Well, you certainly seem to get the message the LAT intended.

The poll includes 1,246 registered voters, among them 557 Democratic primary voters and 437 Republican primary voters. The survey has a 4 percentage-point margin of error for Democrats and a 5-point margin for Republicans.

Now, I never thought McCain had a real chance. BUT, to accept the LAT results with a sample of "registered voters" which contradicts the other polls recently published AND their intended interpretation seems a bit premature. Obama beats all Republicans? Sure - put your bets down early and clean up if you believe it.

McCain has NEVER represented the "Bush wing" of the GOP. He has, on the contrary, been the chief intra-party antagonist of Bush on every subject except Iraq and the GWOT - and he has been very critical at times of the Administration's conduct of the war. To suppose his decline has anything to do with "support for Bush" is simply nonsense.

I agree with Mr. Bob's comment above: any support McCain ever enjoyed among mainstream Republicans was BECAUSE of his support of the war.

Posted by Doc Neaves [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 13, 2007 6:24 AM

So he voted for McCain Feingold and against impeachment. I can understand both of those votes, even though I don't agree with them. But you're right, Rose, and others. Those two votes, that makes him not perfect, so let's drop Thompson like a hot potato and go back to supporting those other nine candidates who voted DOZENS of times for or against things we didn't like (I mean, you put him down for voting FOR McCain-Feingold, but you don't put John McCain HIMSELF down for it?) Please. If these are the only two votes he's going to have to answer for, that will be one short interview. Otherwise, Thompson is OVERWHELMINGLY the best candidate, because his positions, almost every damn one, are the conservative positions we all beg for. Go ahead, put him down because you've got your favorite in the race. Thompson, Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo are the only three candidates with any chance of saving this country.

Posted by Neville72 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 13, 2007 10:24 AM

Sigh. Rose, please get your facts straight.

Fred Thompson voted "not guilty" on Clinton's perjury chage and "GUILTY" on Clinton's obstruction of justice charge. That vote WAS to remove Slick from office.

Apparently, some people are so terrified of a Thompson candidacy(they should be) they seek to tar Thompson with votes he never made, all for the reason of supporting their favorite RINO, JuliAnnie, McPain or FlipFlopMitt.

Posted by Neville72 [TypeKey Profile Page] | April 13, 2007 10:34 AM



Quit spreading the lies.

Here's a link to the Senate vote on Clinton's impeachment.