Rasmussen: Fred 26, Rudy 22; Update: Fred says AQ's smoking ban helped cause Anbar awakening -- and he's right

Can you feel it? You can if you read Rasmussen. If you prefer Gallup, then you’re feeling Rudy 34, Fred 22, McCain 15, and Mitt 10, which marks a three-point bounce for Fred — and a two-point bounce for Rudy and four-point bounce for McCain since last month. I guess he did win that debate after all, eh? The big losers: Mitt, who lost four points but is still ahead of McCain in the Rasmussen poll, and capital-p Patriot Ron Paul, whose tiff with Huckabee at the debate may have dropped him from 3 to a cool 1.

Anecdotal evidence of Fred’s reception on the trail ranges from gruesome in Iowa but trending well to SRO rock-star treatment in the south. New Hampshire’s the wild card, as it usually is, and Huckabee’s trying to take advantage. How about it, Fred?

Update: I forgot to mention, the nutroots is smearing Thompson for saying the other day at a campaign stop (admittedly awkwardly) that one of the reasons the Sunnis in Anbar flipped to the U.S. side is because Al Qaeda told them they couldn’t smoke. And … yes, that’s correct. That’s been reported numerous times, most recently just today by Michael Totten. Quote:

“People here tacitly supported Al Qaeda,” Captain McGee said, “because Al Qaeda was attacking us. But they took control of the city. They forced girls to stay home from school. They dragged people outside the city and shot them in the head. They broke people’s fingers if they were seen smoking a cigarette. They forced men to grow beards. Once they started acting like that they could only establish a safe haven by using terrorism against the local civilians.”

Newsbusters rounds up a few other reports of this same point. Iraqi Sunnis don’t want to live under shari’a; AQ insisted upon it. Something had to give, and it did. Bear this in mind the next time the nutroots lectures the right about all the things they don’t know or understand about the war.