Enjoyable article on Romney and Thompson
Mr. Romney is "trying to become that mainstream conservative," according to Mr. Brown, but he is failing. While Mr. Romney has low name recognition, it's clear from his favorable-unfavorable numbers that "the people who know him aren't that excited about him." To take just one recent poll, a Gallup survey released yesterday showed Mr. Romney's favorable-unfavorable rating among Republicans to be 32%-12%, with 56% not knowing enough to answer. That's a relatively high unfavorable rating for such an unknown candidate.
Republicans, it seems, are dissatisfied with the current field of candidates. A recent New York Times/CBS News poll found that 57% of Republicans nationwide want "more choices" for president. And given that Mr. Romney has failed to catch on, dogged as he is by an image as a flip-flopper, social conservatives are the primary Republican constituency casting about for a fresh face.
"There is this yearning for somebody else," other than Messrs. Giuliani, McCain, and Romney, a former presidential candidate, Gary Bauer, now president of the nonprofit American Values, told me yesterday.
"With the current field, there is, as of now, some difficulty in getting economic, foreign policy, and social conservatives all on the same page," Mr. Bauer said. "So, in view of that, I would like to see Thompson throw his hat in. … I think he'd have a reasonable chance of getting support from all three of the legs of the stool President Reagan put together."