Fred Thompson has reportedly dropped NBC's Law and Order next season, and MSNBC is reporting he will formally file initial FEC papers on June the fourth.
This poses problems for all GOP horses, most severely Romney, Gingrich, McCain, and the second tier.
Gingrich is the other "non candidate," and as he continues to tarry his coming until September, it opens the door for anxious and agitated donors to support Thompson. McCain is still desperately trying to best his pitiful first quarter fund raising, which Thompson could put a dent in. Most polls that include Thompson demonstrate that a good deal of his support coming from the Romney camp, likely due to the feeling that Romney is the most conservative of the "big three." The appeal of the "second tier," most notably Huckabee, Brownback, and Tancredo, is largely contingent on frustration with more popular candidates. Thompson may hamper that feeling.
RCP averages, taken before the Law and Order announcement:
RCP Average 05/10 to 05/23
Spread: Giuliani +7.8%