September 11th, 2007
06:01 PM ET
13 years ago

Thompson catches Giuliani in GOP race

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.

Full story

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: CNN Polls • Presidential Candidates
soundoff (76 Responses)
  1. E, New Orleans

    According to, presidential candidate Fred Thompson was asked to react to Osama bin Laden's first public communication in three years. More specifically, he was asked if the United States should have captured bin Laden and fully dismantled al-Qaeda prior to invading Iraq. This is what he said:

    “It's not an either/or situation; sometimes you don't have a choice. Saddam Hussein was on the cusp as having defeated the United Nations and the free world and the United States. He had certainly had weapons of mass destruction and had the capability of reviving his nuclear program. In light of what Iran is doing today with their nuclear program, he certainly would have gotten back on the stick and gotten there again…"



    Not even Bush administration officials say there were WMDs in Iraq anymore. They prefer to forget they ever told the lie as justification for invasion in the first place. Why would Thompson revive it? Maybe he just doesn't read the news. Maybe he doesn't live in reality.

    Moreover, why have major news outlets ignored the quote? It is at least a gaffe of newsworthy proportions.

    September 11, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  2. John, St. Louis, MO

    Polls are irrelevant for AT LEAST another 6 months. It's all a media frenzy at this point.

    September 11, 2007 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  3. Josue Romano, Buena Park, CA

    I really don't want to see either guy as president and this scares me just as it did when Bush was first elected.

    September 11, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  4. Bill Charleston SC

    E in New Orleans,

    Not only did Iraq possess WMD, but they used them on their own people. That's exactly the reason many of the ex rulers of Iraq were convicted and hanged. Stupid is not those who remember recent history for what it is, rather stupid are those who revise history for their own political purpose. If the shoe fits, which it probably does you, then wear it.

    September 11, 2007 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  5. John, kalamazoo

    It only is true their were no weapons of mass destruction if we "choose " to believe what people tell us. We can also "choose" to ignore the facts and their was a good reason to go into Iraq. Now I'm a much happier person

    September 11, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Dan, TX

    I agree, polls don't matter. Of course if you are polling less than 5% at this point, it probably means you are trying to get your message heard by your party, but you are not a serious contender for nomination....

    September 11, 2007 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  7. Terry Troy, MI

    This article is mis-leading... again. A USA Today/Gallup poll taken Sept. 7-8 shows Giuliani with 32% and Thompson with 20%. This poll was taken 2 to 3 days after Thompsons annoucement. And a A CBS/New York Times poll taken during the lead up and then immediately aftermath, Sept. 4-6, shows Giuliani with 27% and Thompson with 22%. While this is a CNN poll that the article is quoting, it does not fairly represent all legitimate polls and unjustly implies that Thompson is tied, when that implication depends on which poll one reads.

    September 11, 2007 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  8. Bobby Wightman-Cervantes, Brownsville, Texas

    If someone at CNN checks Thompson's interview on Hannity about a month or 2 ago he blamed Jordon for the problems in fact being caused by Iran – the guy needs a map – this is the kind of mistake if played over and over again can kill the best of candidates.

    September 11, 2007 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  9. bret, atl, ga

    Wow, hypothetical matchups between people with essentially the same positions. Talk about INFORMATIVE! Hooray CNN! Man, do you guys have your interns running the show or something?

    September 11, 2007 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  10. Tom - Dedham, Mass

    I am a Republican by nature and I don't get what the big deal about this guy is?

    He has baggage and frankly we need to hear more from him to make a decision, like MAYBE LISTEN TO HIM DEBATE A FEW TIMES, EH?

    Lets save the ticker tape parade for until he makes some good points and not JUST TALKING POINTS.

    September 11, 2007 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. Mike, Milwaukee, WI

    Polls are irrelevant for AT LEAST another 6 months. It's all a media frenzy at this point.

    Posted By John, St. Louis, MO : September 11, 2007 3:40 pm

    Actually the first primary's begin in less than four months....I'd say this spells trouble for Mayor Guliani. Bit this was widely expected. Thompson will probably end up being the nominee but will get creamed in a General! dems mid as well start attacking him now....

    September 11, 2007 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. J, Indiana

    To E.

    Fred said "...He had certainly had weapons of mass destruction..."

    Fred didn't say S.H. had them at the time of the start of the war. I think most everybody agrees S.H. has had and used WMD versus his own people. So, Fred's statement is accurate. S.H. had had WMD before.

    Fred is using the "S.H. was a bad guy in the past and there was a great chance he would again be a bad guy" theory. That seems reasonable to many.

    I think, as with most Politico's, you have to read well-into their statements to really get to what they are saying.

    September 11, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. David, Gilbert Arizona

    The Rasmussen poll has Thompson either tying or lossing to the democratic front runners. Rasmussen has Giuliani beating all the front runners except Edwards, whom the democrats seem to love to hate at this point.

    But yeah, poll data is only indicative of the people asked. Trying to extrapolate that data onto the rest of the U.S. populous is pretty silly.

    September 11, 2007 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  14. spinstopper

    Your looking at the next President of the United States. No, don't think so..? Just watch CNN and the other "major news organizations" unlease their bias political dogs on him over the next year...

    September 11, 2007 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  15. Dyinglikeflies, new york, NY

    This post-announcement poll showing a boomlet for Thompson is less than meaningless. The new kid on the block always gets the attention. For a while, Guiliani was that new kid- now it's Thompson. The Republican field is raising political narcolepsy to a high art. Watching Thompson give a speech is less stimulating than watching paint dry.

    September 11, 2007 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  16. Paul, New Orleans, LA

    To: Bill Charleston SC

    Do you know who gave Saddam those weapons?......drum roll please....the US govt did when Iraq was fighting Iran. That is why Kuwait was wondering why US made bombs were dropping on them from Iraq!

    It's time for serious change and these clowns are not worthy. None of them has any foreign policy knowledge but I know someone who has the backing of a person who was head of the CIA unit to search for Bin you know who that is???

    His last name is my first name!

    September 11, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  17. Al, KS

    As a former Republican I see this as a real test of where the Republican party is headed. Rudy has led the polls forever. Indicative that the more moderate Republicans were/are winning out over the religious conservatives. Can a pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-gun control Rudy win? I think he can because I think there are many Republicans that believe just as he does and are not that dedicated to the religious agenda. It will be an interesting battle between the conservative and the moderates...even if they have no chance in the general election.

    September 11, 2007 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. RB, from the Bay state

    This guy will come unglued at some point. I don't think he has the temperament or patience for the big leagues. All it takes is one slip of the tongue in front of the media to become an also-ran.

    Thompson strikes me as someone lacking these qualities.

    September 11, 2007 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. Greg, Phoenix, AZ

    With Thompson as their candidate, the Republican party has no chance to win the next presidential election.

    No question about it.

    September 11, 2007 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  20. Jane S. Nashville, TN

    Of course there were wmd's in IRAQ!!! Anyone who disputes that clearly doesnt know anything about middle eastern history. One might ask, who do we know this? Its simple, ladies and gentlemen: WE GAVE IT TO THEM. That's right, we gave Iraq weapons to use during the Iraq-Iran War. Saddam was our friend until he decided to invade Kuwait, and the only reason why intervened was becasue we were worried that he was going to attack saudi arabia and steal their oil.

    September 11, 2007 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  21. Jason, Seattle, WA

    I know who Ronald Reagan would support!

    “Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country.”

    Ronald Reagan

    Ron Paul was one of Ronald Reagan’s first supporters by the way. People who consider themselves conservatives and republicans and yet still bash Ron Paul need to do some more reading and self reflection.

    September 11, 2007 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  22. Andy, Cave City Ky

    Fred Thompson gets my vote! These polls are not meaningless. They indicate for us a trend towards Thompson. They also indicate to me that Mit Romney is not making progress.

    September 11, 2007 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  23. jtous

    Way to go FRED!! Keep on truckin' my great friend and President to be!!You have what it takes to LEAD this proud nation, we NEED you now, my good man!!

    September 11, 2007 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  24. David, Encinitas, CA

    Neither of these men, Thompson or Giuliani, are presidential material. The country has been dumbed-down for the last seven years, so perhaps they look better in comparison. Still, that's no excuse for us to elect another poor leader.

    September 11, 2007 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  25. john g

    318 people were polled. Who are they? Has anyone here ever been contacted to participate in any of these polls. Still have never found 1 person who has participated.

    September 11, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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