Thompson now running for GOP nomination?

05/30/07 Mitch E. Perry
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Various news organizations reported today that Fred Thompson is planning to enter the presidential race over the Fourth of July holiday, announcing that week that he has already raised several million dollars and is being backed by insiders from the past three Republican administrations. Thompson, a movie and television actor currently seen on NBC’s “Law And Order”, and a Senator from Tennessee for 8 years, told supporters in a conference call yesterday that he’s definitely in the race. Thompson reportedly spoke to more than 100 potential financial donors on that call, each of whom was urged to raise about $50,000. The website Politico.Com reports that a member of Thompson's inner circle, who insisted on anonymity, said the former senator will offer himself as a consistent conservative who can unite all elements of the Republican Party.

Since Thompson began hinting he might get in, polls have generally showed him tied for third with Romney. In the most recent average of national polls on the 2 each had 10 percent of the vote, behind Giuliani at 26 percent and McCain at 18 percent. Since those polls were taken, Romney has shown increasing strength in early-voting states.

Daryl Paulson is a professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida at St. Petersburg. He says much of Thompson’s attraction to GOP voters is that, he’s not in the race right now (roll tape#1 o.q.”of Ronald Reagan”) The New York Sun reports that Thompson will officially announce A "testing the waters" committee , perhaps as early as this Sunday. That’s a step before the more familiar presidential exploratory committee. It will allow Thompson to raise money and hire staff.

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