GALLUP: Most Voters Can’t Identify Fred Thompson

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By: E&P Staff

A new Gallup poll reveals that former Sen. Fred Thompson would face an uphill battle in a race for president. Right now, according to Gallup, 58% of adults know nothing about him.

Four percent correctly identified him with the TV show “Law and Order”– the same number who expressed a wish that he run for president. Another 11% identified him, correctly, as an “actor.” Just 1% said he was a “conservative/true conservative” and another 1% know that he was or is a “politician.”

Frank Newport, director of the Gallup Poll, notes today that Thompson nevertheless came in third behind Sen. John McCain and Rudy Giuliani in a recent Gallup survey on GOP favorites. But in the new poll, Gallup asked a random sample, “What comes to your mind when you think about former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson?”

The results, Newport writes, “show that a large number of Republicans don’t know much at all about Thompson. A small percentage of those who do know him say he would be a good president, but others either talk about his acting career or offer vague generalities such as ‘I like him’ or ‘Nice guy.’

“What is most interesting about these data is the fact that two-thirds of Americans say that nothing at all comes to mind… In other words, despite his acting career, Thompson is not among the ranks of well-known politicians at this point….

“These data certainly support the hypothesis that Thompson’s appeal, at this point, does not cut deeply into the ranks of Republicans. Because two-thirds of Republicans nationwide do not have any image of Thompson whatsoever, it suggests that his work is cut out for him if he enters the race and expects to win his party’s nomination next year — a challenge he shares with other less well-known candidates.”

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