Former Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Ten., has been spending the last few days campaigning in Iowa, a state where two recent polls show him in third and fourth place, respectively.
In an interview with NBC, Thompson acknowledged his low numbers and said he needed to finish in the top three to remain in contention. “I probably don’t have to win, but I have to do better than [fourth], and I’m planning on doing better than that,” Thompson told NBC’s Sioux City, Iowa, affiliate:
While the National Review gave Thompson a glowing review, saying, “We encourage the other candidates to follow his lead,” Thompson’s dip in the polls has not gone unnoticed.
Real Clear Politics charts his decline in various polls and wonders, “Is Fred Dead or Just Resting?” And Congressional Quarterly reported that Republicans are tired of Thompson’s low-key campaign style. “Several House Republicans who endorsed Fred Thompson for president now say that they are frustrated with what they view as an apathetic campaign, and at least one regrets having committed to the former Tennessee senator,” the article said.
Thompson’s numbers in New Hampshire are dismal as well. A CNN/WMUR poll shows that he has dropped to sixth in the state, falling behind Rep. Ron Paul, R-Tex., and former Arkansas Republican Gov. Mike Huckabee.
What has not slowed, however, is Thompson’s fund-raising effort. In a bid to get more air time for his TV ads, Thomson’s campaign e-mailed supporters a letter titled, “Help Keep Our Ads Running.”
The letter stated: “You can pay for a 30-second ad for my campaign in Sioux City, Iowa simply by contributing $70 to my campaign, and $250 will buy an ad in Greenville, South Carolina. If you and your friends and family can combine to give $850 to my campaign, I can buy a prime-time advertisement in Charleston, South Carolina. These ads will make the difference in this race.”
The campaign also is hoping to enlist “Phone for Fred” workers. For a fee, supporters can visit Fred’08.com to download names and phone numbers of potential voters in Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. “You can ‘Call Right Now’ — Call a voter and enter their responses into the computer as you are talking to them. Or ‘Download Call Lists’ — Print out your call list and when you are ready log back in and enter the voter’s responses,” the campaign is advertising.
Lastly, the Kansas City Star shed light on the early days of Thompson the actor, and a high school government class ponders “What would you do, Fred Thompson?” in this video: