The Fred Thompson joy ride as a strong-polling, unannounced candidate is about to take a jolt, as his “exploration” campaign is set to report “slightly more than $3 million” raised in the month of June, which, according to a Mike Allen story on The Politico, is “substantially less than some backers had hoped.”

More on the still unofficial Thompson campaign:

But many Republicans have turned queasy as Thompson has ousted part of his original brain trust and repeatedly delayed his official announcement, which is now planned for shortly after Labor Day, in the first two weeks of September.

Thompson’s advisers are defending the number, calling it “test-the-waters” fundraising, not “campaign” fundraising.

In other words, Fearless Fred does not seem too flummoxed by the faltering feelings that are festering in the faculties of a few flippant friends.

Say that three times fast!