Flirting with Death.

     Rudy Giuliani just did an interview with Dana Bush of CNN in which he reiterates his support for public funding for abortions. Given his current lead in the polls the possible impact on the Republican Party should be taken seriously. It is no secret that Bush lost the popular vote in 2000 and won in 2004 by taking the swing state of Ohio. A large part of the Ohio victory was related to turnout among “values voters.” If Giuliani is the 2008 nominee he certainly will loose the pro-life component of that voting block. He also risks loosing the traditional marriage vote. He certainly is no darling of the NRA (another crucial Republican voting block.)

     This blog has already mentioned that New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson last received an A rating from the NRA-ILA. A sizable portion of the gun vote is libertarian and not necessarily concerned with other social issues. Therefore a lot of gun owners would not hesitate to cast a vote for the pro-gun Richardson vs. the anti-gun Giuliani. Most voters who support abortion already vote Democrat so any gain for Giuliani would most likely not match his losses on the life issue. Richardson would instantly be competitive in Texas, Florida, Ohio, and for the first time in a while large parts of the South. He would probably win in New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada: All Bush states in 2004.

     If the nominee is Hillary Clinton then the abortion vote clearly goes to Clinton and the pro-life vote will have to pass on Giuliani (his statement in favor of public funding assures that.) Rudy can run on Iraq but Clinton has been very careful not to appear weak on that issue. Barak Obama again would own the abortion vote and Rudy could run as a hawk on the war on terrorism. He better hope the national mood improves noticeably from 2006. Watch the fickle Catholic vote to go for the anti-war candidate without a strong pro-lifer in the race.

     As we mentioned earlier Bush lost the popular vote in 2000. That underscores the fact that a presidential election is not a popularity race but a state-by-state contest. The swing states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania, etc all have a pro-gun, pro-life component that simply would not be energized by a Giuliani candidacy. That means that the Democrats would have their voter coalitions intact (mostly) and if Giuliani is the nominee the Republicans would loose two or three of their important (grassroots activists) constituencies. The Republican Party would be quite simply Flirting with Death (at least at the presidential level) if they go with Rudy in 2008.


  1. The ability for the Giuliani camp to overcome the pro-life, the NRA and other 2nd Amendment believers, the social conservatives that would vote for a marriage amendment and those that generally distrust anyone from “New York City” may be more than even his money can buy. He is a good talker but doesn’t always say so much. Once the novelty wears off, I’m not sure he can withstand the heavy hitting that is sure to be taking place by October.

    As I’ve said before, the combination of pro-choice and anti-guns is a no win combination. The right cannot win unless it has the pro-gun vote. Otherwise, the right to life issue will be a split contest and the conservatives might vote for the conservative candidate out of the lesser of two evils option, but if he is a heavy government and limited citizen’s rights kind of guy, they’ll take a pass. In the primary, the Second Amendment will be the issue that pulls voters one way or the other. They may like Rudy, think he did a great job and can always be America’s Mayor but not their president. McCain is a war hero and all that, but what the heck does he stand for this week and why is the guy so mad? Romney, nice guy but a one term Governor with limited name recognition from a very northeastern and liberal state just might not bring out the southern or western voter.

    We need not be so concerned that Rudy will be the only option to a Hilary and/or Obama ticket as much as we need to be concerned about who will be the nominee. Who is in the current bunch that can prevent the scenario presented in the original post?

  2. Oro Valley Dad says

    Romney on his own might not excite the south but Romney-Hunter would be an interesting ticket. Duncan Hunter has a very interesting populist approach and I love his line about China “cheating on trade.” That issue alone could peel off some Democrat/Working Class voters who have suffered from globalization. The Christian Right are not fans of the Chinese Government so he is secure with his base. Yet Romney at the top of the ticket would south the Chamber of Commerce/Business wing of the party. Hunter would immediately secure the conservative vote for Romney. I am not presenting this as the perfect ticket, just an interesting one.

  3. Keen Observer says

    OVD is onto something with this combo. Social conservatives and those concerned with border issues and national security could be energized by this duo.

    I continue to be dismayed by those who view Romney negatively based on his faith. They did the same thing with Kennedy as a Catholic, foolishly saying he would take his marching orders from the Pope.

    As to Romney’s much ballyhooed flip-flopping on issues, I am heartened that his final flops are into the conservative camp.

    Does anyone recall that Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford’s wife, Betty’s, previous marriages were cause for alarm? Now we have both Giuliani and his wife on marriage number three, and hardly an eye blinked.

  4. Hunter is an interesting character. His presentation has a glimpse of Jack Kemp with a little less swagger. The “cheating on trade” is a good line and one that will bring a different level of concern to a conversation that has been undermined by other interests. He consistently makes the Reagan comparisons to his own agenda and will drive home the true conservative persona on most issues, especially immigration. The Fair Tax movement could also add a very highly charged topic and Hunter is good on that one, too. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and other production states will benefit greatly from the end user tax versus the federal income withholding model.

    While we have discussed the reality of big bucks not necessarily converting to big votes, small dollars make it a hard hill to climb. Hunter has a mountain in front of him. As second chair, he could be just the stabilizing force to accomplish together what the individual could not.

    In that direction is the question of VP. Given the current field is the goal an electable two term President with a strong VP for a run at 16? The obvious McCain issue is age; so if he is the nominee is it better to have a very strong VP who can run in 4, rather than expect him to be a two termer? That could be a plus to his run. Romney is young, (I love it when someone older than me is characterized as young) does he need a VP that is of equal or younger years to qualify as a viable follow up? Same goes for Giuliani.

    Hunter could be a solid addition to any of the candidates and has not made a firm “no” statement to the potential for such. When the field is clear (meaning Thompson and Newt have either said yea or nay to the race) the possibilities will be interesting.

  5. ms coyote says

    Again we the voters get to pick from who is the least objectionable candidate!
    I seriously doubt that most people wake up in the morning and think about the anti choice/anti abortion vs choice issue, its a personal choice in my opinion.
    In my humble opinion, most Americans wake up and think about our safety, the economy, etc and everything that goes along with those concerns.
    I am an independent voter, and if the election was today out of the choices being discussed I would vote for Guliani.
    We meaning my husband who is a registered republican and me the family independent and darn proud of it, have crossed off Romney, yeah he has charisma, but being local here in the Tucson area, we were both dismayed to see that he picked this bigwig at the Vestar development co to be on his tream. Vestar is not a good thing in our minds as they go hand in hand with Wal Mart.
    We view this as being anti American with our jobs disappearing fast and the import of way too much Chinese goods into our country.
    Also Wal Mart is against having more control over cargo being checked that is coming into our ports, of course this would slow down things and hurt their profit, I guess they could not give a half a hoot about our security.
    People are looking for a candidate with some values, nothing extreme in their stance, either too liberal/ too conservative, somebody who has common sense, why can’t we find that anymore in our politicans?

    So here we go again voting for the lesser of two evils .

  6. If Rudy is the GOP candidate then I will vote for the DEM for the first time since 1992. The irony is that both times will be for a Clinton!!!

    Hillary is worse than Rudy – no doubt – but I am a Republican b/c I am pro family. I will not tolerate a pro-abort as the GOP nominee.

    Also I will be voting for Brownback in the AZ primary.

  7. Joe Baby says

    Rudy’s not simply pro-abort. He’s pro-abort and wants you to pay for it.

    Of course he’s against it personally.

    John Kerry was a conservative compared to this guy. And at least he knew how to windsurf.

    Can’t believe conservatives are falling for this guy. Our liberal opponents must be laughing.

    Of course, there’s the impression that he’ll be good on defense because he was tough on crime. I understand the general impression, but at least McCain knows what he’s talking on re: defense. Rudy is simply riding a wave of public likeability.

    If Rudy is the nominee, we lose all pro-life Dems, and most Catholics return to the party of idiocy. We’re going to need a lot of Hillary hatred to win at that point.

  8. kralmajales says

    I agree with most everything you all have said about Rudy and his views on abortion and gay rights. He is indeed not with much of the right of the party on these issues nor does he seem to fit your ideology.

    What I disagree with is that he cannot win and I disagree that pro-lifers would vote for Clinton over him. My guess is that many might stay home, no question, but vote for a Hillary? I doubt.

    What makes me believe he can win is that he would indeed attract independents (I bet a majority depending up the choices on the left), would get some Democrats, and a lot of moderate Republicans.

    I think very much he could win, but I am not betting that he can get through your primary…so don’t worry.

  9. Oro Valley Dad says


    It is not just the pro-life vote that Rudy will not get. How does the Republican win without the NRA?

    You are correct that pro-lifers will not vote for Hillary but a lot of Catholics might. Go back and research how Bush won Ohio and other swing states in ’04. It was close. The Catholic vote was helpful.

    The problem is that if there is not a strong pro-life candidate a lot of Catholics wander over to the “socially compassionate” candidate and Hillary will beat Rudy in that category. What will the priests and bishops say, go with Rudy – he is for publicly funded abortions but would appoint conservative judges and supports traditional marriage but also likes civil unions. NOT! The church will have to be silent and the flock will wander to the candidate talking about “helping the little guy.” Oh, not all of them but with the NRA sitting it out as well it could be enough to loose Ohio and Pennsylvania and other swing states.

    You are right that Rudy will attract lots of independents. His strong point is having a strong image on the war on terror but the electorate might be a little worn-out on that issue by 2008. Even if things improve in Iraq don’t look to the media to get out the message any time soon. My bet is that ’08 will not be a good year to have an R next to your name, Rudy or not. It will be especially bad when your own base does not think much of your position on the issues.

    I think that Hillary could also beat Rudy in states like Nevada. A large working class population that will be receptive to the Democrat message of equality for workers. The normally conservative and very pro-gun part of the state will have to strain to vote for Rudy. Similar for Colorado or even Arizona. We do after all have a Democrat Governor and Clinton won the state in his second term. How does Rudy hold all the swing states with an important part of the party’s base sitting on their hands?

  10. All of this is based on the candidate pool being what it is today. While it seems we are in the middle of the race, in reality the horses aren’t even out of the barn much less up to the gate yet.

    So much can happen between now and say… the fall, that the February do or die date may have an entirely different set of players and possible scenarios.

  11. kralmajales says

    Good point Ann, but as early as it is, I am thinking it is getting pretty late with the amount of money needed to get through the primaries, or to get a good organizations. For instance, if Thompson entered now, he’d already be behind by a good $20million or more…and this campaign schedule coming is packed. You maybe thinking of someone else though…

    As to Oro Valley Dad and his point about guns. I agree with you very much about that issue and its importance in many key states. It is also why I think Romney sunk himself this week on that issue. I would be shocked if an NRA supporter could go with him after he just joined this past year (so he could appeal to ya’ll) that he had hunted twice, then said he hunted rabbits, and then how he blatantly lied about owning a gun. Not sure I would trust HIM on guns.

    McCain…maybe. And Guiliani is soft…but only in the way that a cop or a prosecutor is soft on guns. Remember, many of our first responders are members of the NRA but don’t share the armor piercing bullets part of the rhetoric.

  12. Oro Valley Dad says


    Good points but I cannot let you get away with the “armor piercing” crap. Most vests are meant to stop medium calibers, say from a handgun or a standard military caliber at some distance.

    Try putting on a Kevlar vest and having a friend shoot at your chest with a .338 Win Mag (a popular round for elk hunting.) I do not think it would matter what bullet was used. If it did not penetrate the vest the shock alone would likely kill you. The truth is that few armor products would stand up to a high power hunting caliber. The true intention of the “armor piercing” hysteria was to ban one more class of legitimate firearms.

  13. Is there a way to locate someone locally to try this?

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