More evidence McCain is falling, Thompson rising

Get a load of this:

WASHINGTON – South Carolina appears poised to shake up the 2008 presidential race, with Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Fred Thompson the frontrunners in a new state survey by Mason-Dixon.

With strong support from the African American community, Illinois Senator Obama has assumed a strong lead over New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. On the Republican side, Thompson zoomed to the top spot, slightly ahead of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, even though he hasn’t yet announced his bid for the GOP nomination.

The numbers:

Thompson, a television actor and former Tennessee senator, topped Giuliani by 25 percent to 21 percent. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was next at 11 percent, followed by McCain at 7 percent and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 5 percent. Huckabee has gotten strong notices in the last two Republican debates. Twenty-eight percent were undecided.

The new poll was striking evidence of Thompson’s rise from nowhere in early presidential readings to potential front-runner status. Thompson’s first campaign swing as he edges toward a formal candidacy will be in South Carolina on June 27.

McCain at 7%! That’s abysmal for a so-called front runner in an important primary state. Will Thompson carry the south for the Republicans? Perhaps if this poll is reflective of other southern states.

Thar’s decent progress for someone who hasn’t officially announced their candidacy yet.