Rudy Ascendant

Another poll has come out showing Rudy Giuliani with a commanding lead over both Republican and Democratic hopefuls for 2008. Giuliani gets support from 23% of Republicans, with 20% supporting Condoleezza Rice (who is almost certainly not going to run in 2008). Giuliani even picked up a strong level of support from Democrats:

54% of registered voters want to see Rudy Giuliani run for president in 2008. This includes 78% of Republicans and 57% of independent voters. Even 32% of Democrats are interested in a Giuliani presidential candidacy.

Giuliani’s positions are supposed to utterly damn him in the GOP primaries, which may be true, but that largely assumes that the evangelical crowd won’t support him. That may well be true, Giuliani is certainly not a social conservative, but I firmly believe that the actual influence of hard-core Christian conservatives on GOP politics is probably highly overrated. Giuliani needs to make it clear that he supports judges that will intepret rather than twist the Constitution, that he supports Second Amendment rights, and that marriage is an issue for the states, and he can get the support of not only a good fraction of evangelicals, but also a good fraction of Democrats as well.

If it comes down to a Rudy vs. Hillary campaign, social conservatives won’t elect someone they see as the devil incarnate — even if it means compromising on some issues. At the end of the day, what matters in the field of campaign politics is winning, and Rudy can win if he chooses the run. Most Republicans know this, and if Rudy doesn’t decide to openly attack core Republican constituencies (as McCain did in 2000), his problems in the primary season are not insurmountable.

2 thoughts on “Rudy Ascendant

  1. Guiliani’s only way of winning the nomination is if the social conservatives can’t coalesce around a single candidate and divide the vote three or four ways. And even the non-crazy vote would be divided among McCain and Giuliani. Seems wildly unlikely.

    “If it comes down to a Rudy vs. Hillary campaign, social conservatives won’t elect someone they see as the devil incarnate — even if it means compromising on some issues.”

    Compromise is not in the Christian conservative lexicon. There is no way Southern Baptists will vote for a guy who favors gay marriage and a medical procedure where an infant’s skull is sliced open and its brain vacuumed out during delivery. Period. If Rudy somehow manages to get the nomination, a third-party right-to-life challenge will emerge that will pull in 20% of the vote in most Southern states. Given that the Democratic candidate is assured 38-40% of the vote in these states because of African-American support, it’s very likely Mississippi and Alabama will be painted blue on Election Night 2008, or at the very least Arkansas and Missouri.

    If Rudy goes the other way and assures evangelicals that he will appoint SCOTUS judges who vow to criminalize the very social issues that Rudy has supported his entire career, he’ll be excoriated as a flip-flopper among moderates and lose support in purple states.

    Rudy’s support is a mile wide and an inch thick. I don’t fear his candidacy at all. I’m much more afraid of McCain.

  2. It’s incredibly humorous how the left overvalues the influence of the ‘Christian Right’. It’s yet another of their blind spots. If someone doesn’t agree with the left they simply MUST be some kind of idiot, fundamentalist, racist, redneck…etectera ad infinitum.

    I still remember Arnold ‘not having a chance’ because ‘real’ conservatives and ‘christian’ conservatives wouldn’t support him.

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