Republican Fred Thompson, the target of several “draft Fred” for the White House campaigns, easily won a presidential poll conducted by the American Family Association.
The Alabama native was sent to the Senate after winning a 1994 special election in Tennessee to fill the unexpired term of Democrat Al Gore and was re-elected in 1996. He chose in 2002 not to seek re-election and has appeared in several Hollywood productions since.
In the new AFA poll, he collected 24,872 votes for president in a compilation taken just hours before the poll closed at midnight yesterday.
The runner-up was former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, with 9,889 votes, while ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was third with 7,877.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was fourth with 6,154; John McCain fifth with 5,090; Mike Huckabee sixth with 3,179; Sam Brownback seventh with 3,051; Tom Tancredo eighth with 2,060; and Ron Paul ninth with 1,884.
The leading Democrat in the poll was John Edwards, in 10th with 1,780 votes, and he was followed by fellow party members Barack Obama with 1,414 and Hillary Clinton with 1,108.
Republican Duncan Hunter was in 13th with 639, Tommy Thompson of the GOP was 14th with 475, Democrat Bill Richardson 15th with 162, Republican Jim Gilmore 16th with 109, Democrat Joe Biden 17th with 69, Republican Chuck Hagel 18th with 62 and Democrat Chris Dodd last with 12.
Fred Thompson in March announced he was weighing whether to make a run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008. He also revealed just days ago he was diagnosed several years ago with indolent lymphoma and that his disease is in remission.
“I have friends in politics, some in Congress, some running for president, and others who have successfully dealt with cancer,” the 64-year-old wrote on the Redstate.com website. “I have had no illness from it, or even any symptoms.
He served as an assistant U.S. attorney at the Justice Department from 1969 through 1972 and was the chief counsel to the Republican minority on the Senate Watergate Committee during its investigation prior to the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974.
On the Draft Fred Thompson President 2008 website, his supporters proclaim they want a nominee “who can bring our Nation together and who stands squarely on the conservative principles of Ronald Reagan.”
“Fred Thompson can reach this high standard – it is one he has defined for himself throughout his public service career. Fred Thompson’s record is solid. He does not waffle. He knows where he stands because he is sure of what he believes,” the supporters said.
He also inspires “optimism, kindles courage and emboldens a belief in the greatness of our Nation.”
On the Redstate website, Thompson said his cancer is in remission and his life expectancy should not be affected. A doctor’s statement said such patients usually die of conditions associated with old age.
Of late, he’s been one of the stars on the NBC television drama “Law and Order.” Before joining that program he appeared in “The Hunt for Red October” and “Barbarians at the Gate.”
Another organization, Draft Fred Thompson, carries a petition that at this point has more than 13,000 signatures encouraging him to run.
In an interview with Fox News, Thompson confirmed he’s pro-life and believes Roe vs. Wade is both bad law and bad medical science, America should be tolerant of “gays” but they should not have “special rights,” marriage is between a man and a woman, and he opposes gun control generally.
The American Family Association “Preference Straw Poll” allowed people to cast only a single vote in one party for president. It asked, “If the vote for president of the United States was held today, for which presidential candidate would you vote?”