Thompson Analysis

All eyes will be on Iowa tomorrow/today as voters there cast a ballot in the first primary race for the Presidential election in November.

The Republican front-runners include a Southerner, but it’s not Fred Thompson. The actor and former senator from Tennessee has led a lackluster campaign and according to polls is tied for third with Arizona Senator John McCain. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, has instead emerged as a real contender.

Dr. Bruce Oppenheimer is a political science professor at Vanderbilt University. He says if Thompson shows poorly in Iowa, it may signal the end of Thompson’s campaign.

“The problem is he is more dependent on what other people do than what he’s doing. He was early on dependent on one of the three front runners stumbling and him filling that gap. And they’ve stumbled some, but Huckabee’s taken advantage of it, he hasn’t.”

Oppenheimer says voters in a primary election vote strategically. That means they’re more likely to choose a candidate who’s seen as having a chance at winning the general election, instead of someone who they may like and support, but who isn’t doing well in the polls.

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