I have never given Fred Thompson much of a break this year, and from the beginning I thought the enthusiasm for him was an irrational outburst, a kind of mania that revealed despair among Republicans.  Simply put, it never made any sense.  But if I had to choose among all the non-Paul Republicans in contention right now, I would probably still have to say that Thompson was preferable to the rest.  What a pity, then, that the recent commentary praising his debate performance while saying that the debate is proof that he may not be finished yet is just not correct.  It really is over.  He just hasn’t acknowledged it.

Hotline/Diageo’s December survey has Thompson in fourth place in Iowa behind Giuliani, who isn’t even really campaigning there (a critic would say that Thompson isn’t really campaigning, either), and he has a fav/unfav of 37/42.  As a second choice, he still trails in fourth.  This is not the beginning of a comeback. 

Question 29 is also revealing about Huckabee’s advantage in Iowa: “Which of the following people, if any, do you think best represents strong moral and religious conviction?”  Huckabee receives 50%, Romney 24, and everyone else is in single digits.  The survey was taken between Dec. 7 and 12, so these are post-speech results. 

P.S.  Some small consolation for Thompson is that Research 2000’s Iowa poll has him tied for third with Giuliani at 9%.