This was a quiet little tidbit from a June 29th poll conclusion at Rasmussen Reports, but it does speak volumes about how the candidates are viewed. Let me run down the poll results for you...keep in mind, the poll only considered the top 5 candidates at this time. This is why candidates like Ron Paul and Duncan Hunter are not on this list.
- Overall, Fred Thompson was viewed as a conservative by 44% of those polled, 21% considered him a moderate, and 6% think he's a liberal. Among Republicans, 49% see Thompson as a conservative. Thompson's numbers are up from last month's poll of ideological identification (in which 37% of all voters and 42% of GOPers considered Thompson a conservative). Of all voters, 29% say they don't know enough to form an opinion just yet.
- Mike Huckabee was the only other GOP candidate to see an increase in their apparent conservatism amongst the public. 25% of all voters (and 29% of Republicans) see Huckabee as a conservative, 18% consider him a moderate, 8% say he's a liberal. However, the "we don't know enough about him" number was 39%. Recent criticism about the validity of Huckabee's claims to be a fiscal conservative may have a negative effect on how he is viewed, though.
- Mitt Romney was viewed by 41% of voters (40% of Republicans) as a conservative. 27% say he's a moderate, 6% consider him a liberal. What's interesting is that Romney is now to the right of all but one of the other front-runners.
- John McCain saw his conservative image torn apart by the immigration bill, and it showed in this poll. McCain is seen as a conservative by 38% of voters, but only 31% of Republicans polled...which is down a whopping 10 points from last month. 38% of voters consider McCain a moderate, 10% consider him a liberal.
- Finally, Rudy Guiliani is seen by 23% of all voters (and only 20% of Republicans) as a conservative. This is no surprise, as Rudy has never really been a "conservative" candidate and never pretended to be one. 54% of voters (including 64% of GOPers) view Guiliani as a moderate (no surprise there, either). 11% of all those polled consider him a liberal (which is higher than the Republican-only opinion, where only 9% considered Rudy a liberal).
All in all, some interesting poll numbers. However, with the GOP looking for the more conservative candidate...it seems that out of the front-runners, Fred is the man the conservative base of the Republican Party is looking for.