Schwarzenegger-Style 'Leno Launch' Works for Thompson in CA; Rudy Rear-View Mirror Now Full of Fred:
Five days after Fred Thompson announced his run for President of the United States on the Jay Leno TV show, in the mold of Californian Arnold Schwarzenegger, who began his transition from actor to Governor on Leno's couch, Thompson now leads, if there were a Republican Primary in California today, among men, Conservatives, Pro-Life voters, among those opposed to stem-cell research, among those opposed to same-sex marriage, among gun owners, among those age 65+, and among those who think global warming is made-up, according to this SurveyUSA poll of likely Republican Primary voters conducted by SurveyUSA exclusively for KABC-TV in Los Angeles, KPIX-TV in San Francisco, KGTV-TV in San Diego and KFSN-TV in Fresno. Rudolph Giuliani still runs 1st overall, at 28%, but that is down 11 percentage points from where Giuliani finished in an identical SurveyUSA tracking poll released one month ago, in August. Thompson runs 2nd today overall, at 26%, up 7 points from SurveyUSA's August tracking poll. Giuliani had led by 20 points in August, leads by 2 points today, within the poll's 4.4% margin of sampling error. Among California men, Giuliani had led by 21 points, now trails by 4, a 25-point swing. Among Conservatives, Giuliani had led by 13, now trails Thompson by 9, a 22-point swing. Among those opposed to stem-cell research, Giuliani had led by 12, now trails Thompson by 7. The gradual improvement in Thompson's showing is well illustrated in Greater Los Angeles, where Thompson' support was at 10% in May ... 16% in June ... 18% in July ... 20% in August ... 28% today.
Interviews for this survey were conducted over 3 days immediately following Fred Thompson's announcement for President, which featured Thompson on the cover of Newsweek and other magazines, and as the featured guest on a number of radio and TV shows, of which Jay Leno was just one. It is unclear -- time alone will tell -- whether Thompson's showing in today's SurveyUSA California data is a temporary bounce, sustainable support, or just the beginning of something greater.