Thompson Edges Giuliani in Reader Survey

Which candidate would readers prefer to see as the Republican nominee for President? The last time we surveyed readers was in February and Rudy Giuliani came in first. This time, a newcomer to the race finished first. There is also a much stronger showing for a candidate who has done well in the recent debates.

A few days ago, we asked readers to select their favorite candidate to become the Republican nominee for President of the United States.

In February of this year, we asked readers about their preference for the Republican candidate. The winner in that poll was Rudy Giuliani who received 31% of votes as the favorite. The second place candidate at that time was John McCain with 23%.

A lot has changed since February in the presidential race for the Republican nomination. Newt Gingrich is definitely not running and Fred Thompson is now in the race. There have also been a number of debates and voters have had a chance to hear the candidates and evaluate the candidates.

Not surprisingly, since we are still early in the election process, there are a number of changes in the results this time around. This time, Fred Thompson finished first in the preferences survey with Giuliani coming in a close second. Perhaps the biggest surprise: Mike Huckabee came in third–just slightly ahead of Mitt Romney.

Some readers will undoubtedly ask: “Who is Mike Huckabee?” He is the former Governor of Arkansas and a Baptist minister. The probable reason for his rapid rise is his performance in Republican presidential debates where he has made a favorable impression on a number of voters.

Here is a quick summary of the the results of this survey:

Which of the following leading candidates would receive your vote for the Republican Party nominee to be president?

Rudy Giuliani 280 20% 1368
Mike Huckabee 211 15% 1368
Duncan L. Hunter 27 2% 1368
Alan L. Keyes 27 2% 1368
John McCain 163 12% 1368
Ron Paul 153 11% 1368
Mitt Romney 188 14% 1368
Tom Tancredo 23 2% 1368
Fred Thompson 296 22% 1368

What is your political affiliation, if any?

Democrat 238 17% 1368
Republican 688 50% 1368
Independent 381 28% 1368
Other 32 2% 1368
Don’t Know 29 2% 1368

And, as always, readers had strong opinions on the candidates. Here are a few that are fairly typical of the hundreds of comments sent in by FedSmith readers and that give a good idea of the issues that are important to readers in choosing our next president.

A nurse with Veterans Affairs in Brooklyn is a strong Giuliani supporter: “Because of his positive record of accomplishment in NYC as Mayor. He gave the city back to the people! He took an unsafe gun ridden, high crime city and got rid of the guns, made the subways safe and cleaned up the city for the residents to enjoy.”

A Forest Service employee from Pendleton, OR echoes this sentiment: “Rudy did a very good job with 9/11, I feel that this country needs someone that they can look up to and depend on. I think that Rudy has the best chance of defeating Hillary because of his real on ground experience of handling a national crisis. I would hope that most Americans have analyzed Hillary’s game and realize that it is entirely fluff, lacking substance and filled with socialist ideals bordering too close to real communistic ideals…if she is elected.”

An archeologist with the Forest Service in California also supports Giuliani: “Rudy has the most admin. experience of the Reb. field. I feel he has the background to be the best from the whole list to deal effectively with terrorism.”

A supervisory auditor with DeCA in Ft. Lee, VA has this comment about Giuliani: “I think Giuliani covers all the bases. He is above board, and conservative in areas that I admire conservatism – liberal in areas that I share his view. And I am a dDmocrat! However, Giuliani has my vote!”

A planner with the Navy in Panama City, FL backs Fred Thompson: “Fred’s my man. Little late in the game, but he’s the only one with any common sense.”

A financial analyst from Hill AFB also supports Thompson: “It’s been a long time coming, but I believe Fred Thompson to be honest and forthright.”

An adjudication officer with Homeland Security in Dallas has this to say about Thompson: “Unlike some who believe we need a “firebrand” promising all things to all persons, Thompson impresses me as a one who would be a thoughtful and deliberative President whose actions would be based on the nation’s best interests.”

A biologist with the Fish & Wildlife Service in New Mexico is supporting John McCain: “I don’t like McCain’s stance on the Iraq war, but I believe he has a high level of integrity. This quality is very important to me, but seems to be rare in politicians.”

A senior manager with the Navy in Norfolk, VA also likes John McCain: “It would be great to see a McCain/Thompson ticket.”

A senior labor relations specialist with the VA in Houston likes Duncan Hunter: “I’m a very conservative voter and Duncan Hunter is the only candidate who holds my same values.”

A human resources director with DoD in Kansas writes: “I am sure that Huckabee won’t get the nomination, too bad as he is the best individual running from either party.”

A retired analyst from DoD in Silverdale, WA also supports Huckabee: “Gov. Huckabee is more than a talking head. He possesses a degree of intellectual integrity and personal conviction that leaves all the other Republican candidates looking like tired parodies of one another. His platform is consistent and well defined. I am in complete agreement with his thoughts on fair tax, the preservation of states’ rights, and the protection of constitutionally guaranteed rights of every citizen. I’ve never voted for a GOP presidential candidate, but in 2008 that could change.”

A passenger travel chief with the Air Force in Georgia is a strong Huckabee supporter: “I like Huckabees’ common sense approach on things and his ideas on how to pull this country back to a more centered traditional path. And I loved his answer when he was asked if Congress made a law making gun ownership illegal and they came to his door to confiscate it, what would he do. It seems Congress these days is so busy trying to make our nation a socialist state that they don’t mind riding roughshod over our constitution and our rights. If Huckabee is not made the Republican Presidential nominee then he should be on the ticket as vice president.”

And, while Ron Paul is a Republican candidate who has run on the Libertarian party ticket before, he had a strong showing in this survey. This public health advisor from HHS in Atlanta sent in comments typical of many other readers who are supporting Paul: “Ron Paul is the answer to any problem that needs to be solved with a Republican answer. ”

A financial analyst with the Forest Service in Albuquerque, NM also supports Ron Paul: “I hope the (Democrats) select someone better so I don’t have to vote for Giuliani. I LOVE Ron Paul but his libertarian ideas aren’t practical and I’m totally opposed to his anti-abortion stand. Don’t these guys realize abortions will still happen, probably at same rate, but they will go underground? Poor women will have unsafe procedures. Others will go to other countries.”

A retired engineer from Westminster, MD has this to say: “Ron Paul is the only candidate of either party who believes we have a constitution that we should abide by for governing our country.”

An HR specialist who works overseas for DoD wrote: “Of all the above -Mitt Romney is the only one who brings true positive experience to the table — and the fact that he is a Mormon doesn’t affect me at all-he’s the best of the lot.”

An HR specialist with the Army in Kansas has a similar view of Mitt Romney: “I think Mr. Romney is probably the most honest among the candidates, and he makes sense. I do not believe he is in the “clutches” of any money group that would be able to influence his decisions.”

A secretary with the VA in Fresno, CA has this comment about Romney: “His experience with the (Sale Lake City) Olympics proved he is a good leader.”

A logistics flight director with the Air Force in Ogden, UT has this view: “Romney is a true conservative and has the integrity needed for the Office of President. ”

And, finally, a secretary with the FAA in Swartz Creek, MI sent in a comment that was typical of a few sent in by readers: “I will vote for whomever gets the nomination (for the Republicans).”

You can read the results and reader comments in our recent survey of the Democratic candidates right here.

Our thanks to all readers who took the time to vote in this survey and a special thanks to those who took the time to send in their written comments.