Religious Republicans Dig Fred

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 20, 2007 12:36 PM CDT
Fred Thompson supporters cheer as the Republican presidential hopeful arrives to speaks at the Family Research Council meeting in Washington, Friday, Oct. 19, 2007. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Fred Thompson's campaign is making headway with conservative Christian voters, according to new polling data reported in Politico. Thompson, whose late campaign start was much maligned by Republican insiders, trails Giuliani by 8 percentage points among all Republicans, but he leads 29% to 19% among weekly Republican churchgoers—a group that holds much sway.

That subset should not be taken lightly, Politico warns. The efforts of religious Republicans are a big part of the political dominance the GOP has enjoyed in recent years. Giuliani's lead so far has resulted from his hawkishness and electability, despite his support for abortion rights and gay rights. The new data, mined from a CBS poll, shows that Thompson may be able to depose him with a religious wedge.