Why is the runner who is not a runner down to 13/2 on Betfair
The most remarkable move in the betting on the Republican nomination in the past two weeks has been the amount of money going on this man who has not even said he would like to stand.
Fred Thompson only got listed on Betfair on March 19th and even now many other bookmakers are not quoting prices on him. Yet in the latest polls he’s moved to an average 10.8% rating and one pollster had him at 14% – just twelve points behind the current favourite, Rudy Giuliani.
What’s driving the move to Thompson is that none of the three front runners in the GOP race appeals to conservatives within the party. McCain is seen as being just too old, the thrice-married Giuliani is portrayed as not standing for traditional values while Mitt Romney is a Mormon.
The 64 year old from Tennessee first came to public notice in the early 1970s when he was one of the lawyers in the Watergate inquiry. He then got involved in a case against his state governor over allegations that pardons to convicted criminals were being sold for cash. The scandal became the subject of a best-selling book and later a film, Marie, in which Thompson portrayed himself. This led to him appearing in a total of 18 movies, including In the Line of Fire, Die Hard II and The Hunt for Red October.
In 1994 he became a senator for his home state taking over the unused part of Al Gore’s term. When he stepped down he continued to remain in the public eye through his broadcasting work. He’s an analyst with ABC.
A few weeks ago a former political aide of his launched a grass-roots draft movement to encourage him to run for the White House. While Thompson has not yet formally announced his intentions, he has said he will “leave the door open”.
My concern is his age and whether he has the commitment. But he does enjoy a high level of public recognition and would seem to be a more natural conservative than the other front-runners. He’s certainly worth a covering punt. One of the bookmakers still has him at 12/1 for the nomination,