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    Success of ‘going negative’ changes campaign strategies
    Thompson “the next Reagan?”
    September 6th, 2007 under 2008 Presidential Race, Guest Post, Fred Thompson. [ Comments: none ]

    By Beka Romm - Senior, University of Kansas

    becka.JPGIowans hailed Thompson as “the next Reagan” at Ames, despite his tiny booth manned by two college students and rather paltry showing in the Ames straw poll. Will this romantic view of the former Senator sweep the country?

    Former Dole Institute director and now-campaign manager Bill Lacy seems to think so.

    That’s good, since he’s running the campaign. This article by Time attempts to shed some light on the Thompson-phenomenon, describing him as “all things to all people” and wondering whether he can live up to the expectations.

     But can Thompson live up to the expectations and convince the country, especially the conservative wing of the party so important for getting through the primary, that he’s the one candidate capable of the job? A June 19th poll seems to answer in the affirmative, reporting Thompson as the front-runner among Republican candidates.

     But how real is his lead? Rudy Giuliani trails by only one percent, certainly within the margin of error. But it does say something about Thompson’s appeal, as Rudy has been in the race for months and Thompson has yet to announce his candidacy. Maybe he is the next Reagan… but maybe not. The momentum stirred up in the first few months seems to have slowly seeped away, leaving analysts and political junkies wondering whether Thompson missed his moment.

    The big news this week is his upcoming announcement, set for Thursday texas-straw-poll-showing-adds-growing-momentum-fred-thompson). But as cynics point out, his announcement date was originally set for July 4, then pushed back to Labor Day. Will he actually announce, or will it once again be pushed back? The bottom line: the press is treating him like a real candidate, his “exploratory committee” is functioning like he’s a real candidate. Will the planning translate into a real, strong lead once he announces Thursday? Only time will tell. One thing is for sure in my mind: he better get the wheels back on the pickup truck soon if he wants to accelerate in time for the January primaries.


    The Dole Institute of Politics is a bipartisan facility. Our mission; to encourage political and civic involvement, especially among young people; to encourage civil discussion on important issues; to emphasize that politics is an honorable profession; and to provide opportunities for all to interact with political leaders, practitioners and writers.
    While content on the blog will be moderated, we in no way wish to stifle vigorous debate. We request that participants engaging in the online discussion avoid personal, vitriolic attacks, and maintain respect for different opinions.

    David D. Perlmutter, Editor
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    A Summary of the 2006 Blogger-Reader Survey

    Fall 2006 Blogger/Reader Survey Details and Research Reports
    In December of 2006 Dr. Dhavan Shah of the University of Wisconsin and his “Blogclub” of graduate students and Dr. David D. Perlmutterof the University of Kansas conducted a survey of major political blogs and their readers. The project was partially sponsored by a grant from the Knight/Carnegie Foundation’s Future of Journalism initiative. The summary of the results are posted here--please fully cite us if you refer to the findings.

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