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The Politico reports that Fred Thompson will drop out within days if he finishes poorly in the Iowa caucus.

Even though Thompson has been on a bus tour of the state, it doesn’t seem to have created a groundswell for his candidacy.

Write Jonathan Martin and Mike Allen, “This reality—combined with a fundraising drought—left well-connected
friends and advisers of Thompson Wednesday evening predicting that he
will pull the plug on hype and hope before the Jan. 8 New Hampshire
primary.”

“Without a solid third-place finish, there’s no point in going on,” a
Thompson adviser said Wednesday. “It was an honorable race, and he
turned out to be a good candidate. The moment had just passed.”

Thompson himself has said that he needs to finish second or better.

What happened? Michael Crowley of The New Republic has this caustic profile. Crowley begins, “This is what a disaster looks like: Fred Thompson, the former future “savior” of the Republican Party, looking droopy-eyed
and jowly in a black leather jacket and tan ten-gallon hat, wandering
like some lonesome lost cowboy through the snows of southeastern Iowa
in search of voters – and not finding many.”