Senator Thompson is really picking up steam in Pennsylvania…
The writer behind the blog “PA for Hizzoner, Rudy Giuliani” put the best possible spin on the results of this weekend’s presidential straw poll at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference, a key barometer of GOP activist sentiment in the state. The headline was “Rudy Leads All Presidential Candidates,” but the blogger had to confess the headline “may be a little deceptive,” since the former mayor actually got 16% and tied for second with Newt Gingrich, who spoke at the conference. The winner was non-declared candidate Fred Thompson, who “slaughtered the field” with 35% of the total vote.
Mr. Thompson was a non-candidate on a roll this weekend. He also came out on top in a straw poll on the other side of the country conducted at the California Republican Assembly, the state’s oldest and largest Republican volunteer organization. He won 25% of delegate votes, topping local favorite Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego. For his part, Mr. Giuliani won 7% of the vote, although admittedly he was not expected to do well among the very conservative CRA membership.
This weekend also featured Mr. Thompson strolling through the receptions that preceded the White House Correspondents dinner, along with declared candidates Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee and Mr. Giuliani. A memorable moment came when Mr. Thompson bumped into Mr. Romney and as the two exchanged pleasantries, Newsweek’s Howard Fineman rushed up in mock excitement. “You guys can save me a lot of time,” he exclaimed. “Form your own ticket right here and now. I don’t care who is on top!” All concerned had a good laugh at that, but agreed to defer any actual negotiations till later.
EDITOR’S NOTE: So much for keeping the straw poll results embargoed until tomorrow’s release…
34% Fred Thompson
16% Newt Gingrich
16% Rudy Giuliani
15% Mitt Romney
6% Mike Huckabee
4% Duncan Hunter
4% Sam Brownback
3% Ron Paul
1% James Gilmore
NOTE 2: A couple comments mentioned Senator John McCain’s showing, which for some reason was not included in the email compilation of the straw poll data. To the best of my knowledge from the PLC Saturday announcement he polled around 1% or 2%…
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