Posted: January 18, 2008 6:20 PM
Thompson: "All In" for South Carolina Primary
After finishing third two weeks ago in the Iowa Republican caucuses, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson took his campaign to South Carolina, all but skipping the contests in New Hampshire and Michigan. While voting was underway last week in New Hampshire, Thompson announced plans for a bus tour through South Carolina, and how Thompson finishes in the Palmetto State Saturday likely will decide the fate of his run for the presidential nomination.
Indeed, last week campaign spokesman Todd Harris said the campaign was “all in” in South Carolina. For those unfamiliar with betting, this means all of Thompson’s chips are in the pot. And unfortunately for Thompson, he doesn’t seem to be holding a strong hand.
A Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released Friday shows Thompson in fourth place, behind Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, respectively. A new McClatchy-MSNBC poll has the candidates in the same order.
“Thompson has conceded that a disappointing finish in Saturday’s GOP primary would probably sink his chances,” the Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Perry Bacon Jr. reported Friday. “Other candidates have much to gain or lose here, but none more than the man whose candidacy has been one of the campaign’s biggest puzzles.”
Campaign manager Bill Lacy told the Post, “It’s where we feel we need to break through.”
During these last days before Saturday’s primary, Thompson has been taking swipes at his rivals and trying to court the same Christian conservative voters as Huckabee. For his part, Thompson has picked up the endorsement of several “right to life” groups, including from South Carolina Citizens for Life.
“I think it’s going to be a good Saturday night,” Thompson told Fox News’ Carl Cameron, while also adding, “I’ve got to do very well here.”