There's speculation Thompson will jump into the White House race next month.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Fred Thompson’s on the rise in the latest national polls of the Republican race for the White House.
Not bad for a guy who’s not officially a candidate.
The former senator from Tennessee and television and movie actor is in second place in two national polls this week.
Thompson trails GOP front-runner Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor, but is ahead of Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the most recent Wall Street Journal-NBC and Los Angeles Times-Bloomberg surveys.
Thompson’s tied with McCain for second place in this week’s poll by Quinnipiac University.
"Most national polls show Thompson gaining strength since he formed his exploratory committee,” says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. “Voters pay more attention to candidates who are serious about running, and that may account for his growing support in the polls."
Thompson took those first formal steps towards a White House run earlier this month. There’s speculation Thompson will formally announce his candidacy for president early next month.
- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser