Turning it aroundEveryone is talking about Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina having such great importance in the early Primary and Caucus voting for President-I've written of that importance here. A new State to the early voting game this year is Florida, and since they are voting right on the heels of the Palmetto State, polls there could be indicative of possible trends on Super Tuesday. The latest Insider Advantage/Majority Opinion poll is out, and it shows that Mike Huckabee has risen from the ashes. He was at 6% in Florida in October, but now he is second behind Rudy Giuliani. Huckabee is now at 17% to Giuliani's 26%-and Rudy has dropped 3% since the first week of October.
In the acknowledgment department, it is hard not to give a tip of the cap to Governor Huckabee's supporters. They haven't let low poll numbers get to them, they've rallied their troops and they've made it their mission to get Mike Huckabee's message out. Huckabee's fundraisers accomplish twin objectives that seem contradictory, but are absolutely necessary in this day and age: Fundraising must appeal to the grassroots, but must also be handled in a professional and respectable manner to prevent the opposition from picking off your supporters or their supporters from sabotaging the outcome (read: Ron Paul supporters of the politically naive variety). Huckabee's people are doing everything right from a political perspective and it is paying off on the ground.
The most disappointing numbers in that poll are those for our own Fred Thompson. Fred has sunk from 19% and second place, to 9% and fifth place. If he finishes that low in a Southern State before Super Tuesday, it could be Waterloo for Fred. Can Fred turn it around?
I've had occasion to speak with several supporters of Fred in the last few days, and I spoke with my friend (and former Van Hilleary field man) Fabian Story yesterday. It would probably be accurate to say that Fabian and I had a "come to Jesus" meeting of the minds about the campaign. At this point, we are both in agreement that we simply can't let these low poll numbers be a discouragement, and we have to look to South Carolina where the numbers still look promising. A win there could catapult Fred Thompson on to better numbers in Florida and big wins on Super Tuesday. We have to work to excite the grassroots about Fred's campaign, though when things aren't going as well as we'd like, people want the truth about that-educated voters can see through the fog.
Fred Thompson can turn it around by presenting more of himself and less of the "manufactured image" that had been coming across in recent months. One of the ways he has managed to do this is to present a bit of the federalist conservative we know and love in this TV ad:
The video is a bit fuzzy, but the message is certainly not. People have been aching to hear that message from Fred unrestrained for months. The commercial may have been a made-for-TV moment, but the message is 100% bona fide Fred. We need to see much more of that Fred, because if we do, Fred Thompson can still win this race.
Labels: Presidential Election