Scott Rasmussen’s daily tracking poll catalogues a candidacy in trouble as it chronicles Fred Thompson’s descent over the past two weeks in the polls as his candidacy increasingly comes to resemble the old U.S. Vanguard rocket, which would go three feet up in the air before crashing back down on the launching pad (circa 1958).

Rasmussen, who uses a tight screen to identify core Republican primary voters, has always had Thompson higher than any of the other polling organizations. These other firms, like Gallup, use a looser screen, which may let in more people who are not definitely going to vote in GOP primaries. (Neither one is clearly right or wrong, but the one likely understates turnout while the other probably overstates it. Take your pick.)

Rasmussen has Thompson losing a fifth of his vote share between Sept. 25 and Oct. 5, dropping from 27 percent to 21 in the national GOP head-to-head contest:

Rasmussen shows Thompson drop

Date Thompson Vote Share

Sept. 25 27%
Sept. 26 26%
Sept. 27 26%
Sept. 28 24%
Sept. 29 26%
Sept. 30 25%
Oct. 1 25%
Oct. 2 24%
Oct. 3 22%
Oct. 4 22%
Oct. 5 21%

All his missteps and his laid-back style of campaigning is taking a toll on the early enthusiasm with which his candidacy was received.