Dick Morris and  Eileen McGann

There was good news this week for both soon-to-be candidate Fred Thompson and growing-by-the-hour candidate Barack Obama. The Los Angeles Times survey of April 5-9 found that former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson had moved into second place – ahead of the seriously damaged McCain – in the GOP presidential primary. This is an amazing showing for an undeclared candidate.

And on the Democratic side, an online vote conducted by liberal anti-war group, Moveon.org showed Obama in first place, with Edwards close behind, as the best candidate to lead the U.S. out of Iraq. Hillary came in fifth, after Kunich and Richardsen. This does not auger well for Hillary, who has been trying to move further to the left on the war and cultivate the anti-war vote.

THE REPUBLICANS:

THOMPSON OVERTAKES MCCAIN

The surprisingly positive results for Thompson in the L.A. Times survey may be the final impetus that convinces him to jump into the race. There have been several recent indications that Thompson is abut to declare.

First, his public disclosure that he was diagnosed with lymphoma several years ago and is now in remission could only have been made to pave the way for his entry in the Republican primary. A potential candidate would have to get that information out before someone leaked it. And, on the other hand, if Thompson was not a candidate, he would have no reason to divulge that personal information.

Thompson has also scheduled a number of high profile appearances in Washington, including the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, a meeting with 40-50 Republican Congressman, and a speech at the influential Lincoln Club in Orange County, California. A Thompson adviser, Mark Corallo, said that the schedule of events are "indications that Fred is taking this very seriously."

The vibes in Washington certainly suggest that Thompson is about to jump into the race, probably declaring his candidacy in May.

The L.A. Times poll showed Guiliani leading the field, as usual, at 29% but with Thompson in second place at 15%. McCain fell to third place at 12%. Poor Mitt Romney still can't get no respect and trailed at 8%. The results were as follows:

GIULIANI 29%

THOMPSON 15%

MC CAIN 12%

ROMNEY 8%

GINGRICH 7%

HUCKABEE 3%

Source: LA Times


Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Dick Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of 2010: Take Back America. To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to www.dickmorris.com