The other day, I mentioned that Fred Thompson’s name ID was lower than Mitt Romney’s. I got some push back. Rasmussen has some numbers that confirm my assertion. This has been the case for a long, long time.

  GOP Overall
  Fav Unfav Image Unknown Fav Unfav
Giuliani 71 23 3.1 6 53 40
Thompson 61 17 3.6 23 44 31
Romney 56 31 1.8 13 37 43
McCain 54 39 1.4 7 44 46

Looking at these numbers, we see several things:

  1. Mitt Romney doesn’t have that much more room to grow. Very soon, more forward progress for him is going to depend on changing people’s minds about him, which is much, much harder than introducing him. And Romney’s continued negative press will make this hard. Now, his numbers will go up some when he advertises, so he has some hope. I want crosstabs to tell me who doesn’t like Romney.
  2. Fred Thompson is still not known by almost 1/4 GOPers. This is both an opportunity and a danger. If more stories like the abortion lobbyist story emerge, he might get introduced like Romney has been. But it seems that he can count on positive press.Romney
  3. Giuliani is cruising.
  4. McCain is struggling. Will probably take a significant change in context for him to come back.

These results, and the idea that Romney and Thompson are fighting for similar voters, suggests that Romney will continue to attack Thompson.

We also see that Thompson’s unfavorable among Democrats and/or independents offers him some hope in a general election.

The conclusions are the same that they’ve been in a while. Romney has been painted by something and someone. His general election candidacy is almost certainly not viable.  And to win the general, he probably has to go through Thompson.

It is just too early to tell for Thompson.

Now there’s another important issue: electoral votes. I am not sure that I see how either one of these guys really add electoral votes.