There's not as much red without Fred
FRED is in the building. The Wayfarer that is. Former Senator Fred Thompson makes his first Granite State visit on Thursday. Thompson will appear at a fundraiser for the NH Senate Republican Victory PAC. Senate Minority Leader Ted Gatsas got Thompson there by reaching out to volunteers working to draft Thompson. The Fredheads in New Hampshire are led by Steve Smith, who was NH Director, but is now "Head of the North Territory," which also includes New York, Connecticut, and Maryland.
Tickets for a private Fred-ception are $500. $50 is what it takes for flinty Granite Staters to get into the general reception.
Smith says the draft Fred movement is about 100 people strong in New Hampshire and in bigger states like California it is more like 400 people.
"The national guys, Kenneth Emaneulson and Randall Hamm in Texas, they've got a whole posse of folks helping them. They have 30 or 40 state reps in Texas. I only got one. I got Mark Clark here in New Hampshire. They're too careful here, they want to hedge their bets," says Smith.
Asked about Thompson's appeal, Smith says you hear the full range of reasons. Foremost, Smith says, Thompson's been a consistent unapologetic conservative and not compromised on a lot of the big issues.
"They can't tell you why they're supporting him, that's the great part. They just look at all the other candidates and they look at him and they say, 'thats the guy,'" opines Smith. "After the debates in Manchester, Fred was on Hannity and Colmes afterwards and he can reach out and grab the person in the living room and get his point across."
Candidates, eager for a strong June 30th FEC filing, hit the bigger money states and left Granite Staters to prepare for Loudon's big Sunday race and watch the Red Sox for a week or two. So Fred's showing us again that he knows how to time the press, opting for this premier on a week that is low on candidate traffic. After the Bedford event, Thompson is heading to South Carolina.
In a new 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll out June 27th of 500 likely New Hampshire voters, Fred Thompson is tied with John McCain at 13%. In the front seats are Mitt Romney with 26% and RUDY Giuliani right at the margin of error with 22%.
Of likely Democratic voters, Hillary Clinton is 18-points ahead of Barack Obama, 37% to 19%, while John Edwards and Bill Richardson need oxygen at 9 percent. The biggest threat this poll finds to Clinton's lead is Gore. A third of Democrats polled would switch support over to Gore, giving him a hypothetical hold on first place.
The survey also tested Michael Bloomberg in matchups. In every case, an Independent run by Bloomberg left the Democratic candidates untouched or improved their standing. It looks like Bloomberg has more the affect Ross Perot than Ralph Nader.
Some good news for Romney and Giuliani came from over half of Republican Primary voters, who said that a president's religion should never affect his or her policy making. Could the tent be getting bigger?
NASCAR fans can also see Senator Obama, visiting the final tenth county in New Hampshire with a "Meet the Candidate" event on Monday in Laconia. He'll need to keep lapping those ten counties like McCain in 2000 to keep traction.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson will attend the famed Amherst July 4th parade, and Duncan Hunter will join in the Merrimack festivities on the 4th. These may look like photo ops, but in 1999, Dan Quayle had to march by a sign at a Milford Parade that said, "Potatoe."