Fred Thompson six points behind the leader in the national polls
The leader is actually two people tied at 19% each. Mike Huckabee and John McCain are ahead of the pack. Fred Thompson actually comes in last at 13%. None of the candidates in the middle of the pack are far from either extreme. What this logically means is that popularity and poll numbers are not going to persuasive determining a candidate’s next action and this sort of “dead heat” likely won’t be a factor in getting rid of my man from the election.
On the other hand this kind of even spread dissuades major donors or large numbers of minor donors from making serious commitments to a candidate and serious lack of cash is likely the only factor in forcing a decision on whether and when Fred Thompson will leave the race.
It’s also fun looking at this way. The Chameleon Candidate is second from the bottom and Rudy is third from the bottom with only four points higher than the bottom, yet paradoxically he’s in second place of five candidates with a two-point deficit. What this means is simple. Polls are (largely) meaningless; their main purpose in an electoral horse race is a rhetorical bludgeon used to convince people that the candidates they love and support are unworthy of support because they may not be “viable” or “electable”, hammering those potential voters with the words “he won’t win”. Polls are usually, not always, a tool to disenfranchise people and rob them of hope, to persuade them to change their actions.