Tennesseans tend to pick Republican favorite son Fred Thompson when asked which 2008 presidential hopeful they support, but in hypothetical head-to-head contests, Democrat Hillary Clinton runs very close behind him and ties national Republican front-runner Rudy Giuliani, a new poll by Middle Tennessee State University shows.
Thirty-two percent of Tennessee adults choose Thompson when asked whom they most favor in the 2008 election. Clinton attracts 25 percent, while Giuliani and Illinois Democratic Sen. Barak Obama draw 9 percent each. Nine percent name Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, and the rest choose someone else.
In a hypothetical head-to-head contest, though, Thompson garners 50 percent to Clintons 42 percent, with 4 percent choosing neither and the rest unsure. Considering the poll's error margin (plus or minus four percentage points), Thompson's lead over Clinton is small, and the two could even be tied.
Pitted against Obama, Thompson wins more handily, drawing 55 percent compared to Obama's 34 percent, with 7 percent choosing neither and the rest unsure. In a hypothetical race between Clinton and Giuliani, meanwhile, the two tie, drawing 43 percent each with 11 percent saying they'd vote for neither and the rest not sure.
"In sum, a Thompson-Obama contest would be the best-case scenario for Tennessee's Republicans under present conditions," said MTSU poll director Ken Blake.