Fred Thompson has got to be happy with the results of his groundwork. After saying he was “giving some thought” to the idea of running for president, the buzz among the GOP base took off. So just how far has this minimalist approach taken him?

Rasmussen reports today that in their first national telephone survey since his announcement, Fred Thompson essentially ties the Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton (44% Thompson 43% Clinton) in a head-to-head match up. It’s not a good week when your candidacy falters on the release of a remade internet video, and you are tied in the polls with a candidate who isn’t even running!

There’s also good news for Thompson coming from the early primary states. In Iowa Thompson has supplanted Romney for third place, and in New Hampshire he is polling in the top five. Those are not bad numbers for a candidate who doesn’t even have an exploratory committee.

If Mr. Thompson ever decides to bring his brand of law and order to the Republican nomination, we could be in for a real fight.

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