Thompson is in a statistical dead heat with Rudy Giuliani, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Five days after he officially jumped into the Republican race for the White House, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson finds himself in a statistical dead heat with frontrunner Rudy Giuliani, according to a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll out Tuesday.
The former New York City mayor garners 28 percent nationally among registered Republicans while Thompson is only one point behind at 27 percent - well within the poll's 5 percentage point margin of error. In a similar poll taken in August, Giuliani registered 29 percent while Thompson, then not yet an official presidential candidate, was at 22 percent. (See full poll results [PDF])
CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider notes, "Thompson has the edge among evangelical Republicans and especially among his fellow southerners - that's where Thompson has made the biggest gains."
Specifically, Thompson now holds the advantage among men, southerners, older voters (age 50 and over) and ideological conservatives. Conversely, Giuliani leads among women, voters in the Northeast and Midwest, younger voters (under 50) and self-described GOP moderates.
While the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll shows a statistical dead heat, other recent national polls indicate Giuliani continues to hold a lead over Thompson. A CBS/New York Times poll released Monday showed Giuliani with a 5 point lead over Thompson, 27 percent to 22 percent. Meanwhile, a USAToday/Gallup poll out Monday has Giuliani with a 12 point lead, 34 percent to 22 percent.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Clinton remains on top in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - New York Sen. Hillary Clinton remains the clear national frontrunner over Illinois Sen. Barack Obama in the Democratic race for the White House, according to a new CNN-Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday.
Clinton garners 46 percent in the latest poll, while Obama stands at 23 percent. A similar poll in August had the candidates in virtually the same position, with Clinton at 44 percent and Obama at 24 percent. (See full poll results [PDF])
Meanwhile, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards comes in third at 16 percent, the exact same number he registered in August. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is now at 5 percent, Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich is at 3 percent, Delaware Sen. Joe Biden stands at 2 percent, and former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel registers 1 percentage point. Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd registered less than 1 percentage point.
The poll, conducted on September 7-9, surveyed 456 registered Democrats and carries a margin or error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Sen. John McCain took the opportunity on Tuesday to make the case for remaining in Iraq as Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker testified about the Iraq war at a U.S. Senate committee hearing.
Related: Obama: Bad timing for Iraq hearings
Watch CNN's Abbi Tatton report on how some of the 2008 presidential candidates chose to remember the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on their campaign websites.
Related video: Giuliani speaks at 9/11 ceremony
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama criticized the timing of Tuesday’s hearings over the future of the Iraq war, because the Illinois senator said it sends the wrong message on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11th attacks.
Obama harshly criticized the Bush administration in his statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee prior to questioning Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan Crocker. (Related: Iraqi government dysfunctional, U.S. envoy says)
“I think we should not have had this discussion on 9/11, or 9/10, or 9/12, because I think it perpetuates the notion that the original decision to go into Iraq was directly related to the attacks on 9/11," Obama said.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Arizona Sen. John McCain is using his presidential bus tour through South Carolina to collect care packages for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, his campaign announced Tuesday.
McCain, a Vietnam veteran who is seeking the GOP presidential nomination, is asking members of the public to fill shoeboxes with items that would be useful to the soldiers serving abroad. His campaign sent out a list of supplies, including non-perishable food, toiletries, games, magazines and phone cards.
"If we can do something to make our troops more comfortable in the field, then we ought to do it," McCain said.
McCain and his "No Surrender" bus tour heads to South Carolina on Saturday. Next week, McCain will donate the care packages to a variety of non-profit organizations that have agreed to send them to the soldiers.
McCain is not the only presidential candidate who is asking political supporters to help the troops. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is promoting a program called "Surge of Support" for the troops, where the campaign encourages people to donate money and supplies to a number of non-profit organizations that support the troops. The campaign also collects supplies to donate to soldiers fighting abroad.
- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich
The Clinton campaign said Monday that it will return money solicited by Norman Hsu from more than 250 donors.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A day after Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign announced it was returning $850,000 raised by fugitive fundraiser Norman Hsu, new details have emerged about his capture last week, according to reports from The Wall Street Journal.
The disgraced Democratic fundraiser, who is under investigation for investment fraud in the 1990's, failed to appear in court last Wednesday. He was later found on an Amtrak train headed for Chicago.
The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site Monday night and in the newspaper’s print edition Tuesday, that it was not a pleasant trip for Hsu.
Another passenger, Joanne Segale, tells the newspaper she noticed several items spill out of his sleeping cabin, and when she peeked through the window and "saw a man who appeared to be in fetal position, bare-chested."
"It appeared this person had fallen out of bed," she told Journal.
A crowbar was needed to open the Hsu’s cabin where he was found on the ground and unable to walk, the Journal reported.
Segale also told the newspaper she noticed "lots and lots of medication in that room. I could see pills on the floor and rolling around."
Hsu was taken to a Colorado hospital and then taken into custody by the FBI.
Hsu has also given to other Democratic candidates, including Clinton's chief rival for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Barack Obama.
UPDATE: Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Karen Finney tells CNN's Shirley Zilberstein the DNC is now re-vetting those contributions that were raised for the committee by Hsu between 2004-2007 and verifying them with the donors directly. Hsu raised approximately $47,000 for the committee in that time.
- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Romney's campaign denied it had any knowledge of a Web site critical of Thompson.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign is distancing itself from a Web site that is critical of one of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.
The website, www.phonyfred.org, was live Monday, but was taken down shortly after a reporter from The Washington Post called the Romney campaign to inquire about its connection to one of its campaign advisers, the newspaper reported on its Web site.
The Post established a link between the site and Romney’s top South Carolina political adviser Warren Tompkins. Screen grabs of the site captured by the Post before it was taken down show a banner headline describing the Tennessee Republican as “Phony Fred.” Subcategories are titled: “Hollywood Fred”; “Washington Fred”; “Pimp Fred”; and “McCain Fred.” The latter is an apparent reference to Thompson’s friendship with Arizona Sen. John McCain. While McCain is one of his opponents for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, Thompson backed the Arizona senator’s presidential bid in 2000.
Kevin Madden, Romney’s spokesman, told CNN that the site “has no direct affiliation to our campaign, and we had no knowledge of its development.”
“We discovered it was created by an individual who works at an internet firm, who parked the site temporarily on the company server space of a firm whose financial partner is a consultant to the campaign,” Madden said.
The consultant referred to by Madden is Tompkins.
Thompson spokesman Todd Harris deferred any comment on the matter Tuesday, because he said it is the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. But Harris added, “We will have plenty more to say about this tomorrow. “
- CNN Political Ticker Producer Xuan Thai
Thompson got a warm welcome from South Carolinians on Monday.
COLUMBIA, South Carolina (CNN) — Former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson’s first official visit to South Carolina Monday served as an introduction to the "values voters" in this important primary state, which will help choose the next Republican presidential nominee.
But once Christian conservatives move past the getting-to-know-you phase, will they like what Thompson has to say on abortion and right-to-life issues?
Joe Mack, director of public policy at the South Carolina Baptist Convention, said it might be too early to tell. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (an ordained Baptist minister) have all been working hard to make inroads with this important voting bloc.
"We certainly agree with Brownback and Huckabee," Mack said in an interview. "On social and moral issues they’re right down the line ... Brownback and Huckabee, and Romney for that matter, have been here for awhile and talked to a lot of our people. We’ll have to see how things shape out now that [Thompson's] in the race."
During a campaign appearance in Greenville, Thompson spoke about how viewing his four-year-old daughter Hayden’s sonogram before she was born "changed me."
"I thought it was a confirmation that he was pro-life, based on that comment," said Mack, who added that "Thompson is probably right on the issues, but we need hear that articulated in more detail."
[For specific stories about South Carolina and the 2008 race for the White House, check out CNN's South Carolina Political Ticker.]
— CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby
Edwards said he isn't offering his backers a "fancy dinner or photo-ops with celebrities."
WASHINGTON (CNN) – In what might be perceived as a veiled shot at one his chief rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, former Sen. John Edwards is taking five supporters to New Orleans to work on rebuilding homes.
“Instead of offering you a fancy dinner or photo-ops with celebrities, we’re giving you the opportunity to create the change we need to see in this country,” Edwards, a North Carolina Democrat seeking his party’s presidential nomination said in a statement.
Sen. Barack Obama, who is also competing for the Democratic presidential nomination, had a $3 million fundraiser at Oprah Winfrey’s California home this past weekend. Obama, who represents Illinois, also has held a contest that gives small political donors a chance to have dinner with him.
The Edwards contest will take five people to New Orleans to work on helping to rebuild a city devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Edwards visit to the Crescent City comes after it was recently revealed that a company he has financial ties with foreclosed on the homes of over 30 New Orleans residents.
An Edwards’ spokesperson would not comment beyond what was stated in the news release.
- CNN Political Ticker Producer Xuan Thai