Fred Thompson is a consistent conservative who picked the wrong time to run for President. He was late getting into the campaign and America's conservatives had already began to move toward Mike Huckabee. I like Thompson and thought he did well in the South Carolina debate until I heard the next day who he had supported for President during the Reagan years.
It was a little disingenuous for Thompson to go after Huckabee for not being a true Reagan conservative when Thompson in fact supported Gerald Ford in 1976 and Howard Baker in 1980 and not Ronald Reagan. I think Huckabee only has to point that fact out at every turn in South Carolina to counter-act Thompson's attacks. Had Thompson joined the race early on, he would have been no doubt one of the conservative front runners, but sometimes in politics timing is everything.
My hope is to see Thompson drop out and his votes go to Huckabee. I believe Huckabee is the most Regeanist conservative we have in the field and would have the best chance to win in November. McCain and Romney are out on the stump talking conservatism but seem to me to be way late in the game championing conservative principals. Rudy Giuliani is currently nowhere to be found. Ron Paul got more votes than Rudy in Michigan.
I will say that any of the Republicans that ultimately win the nomination would be far superior to any of the Democrats but this is the time far Republicans to pick their horse in the race and support then until the nomination is decided. After that you will see Republicans rally around the Republican nominee in order to defeat any of the democrats.