Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rudy Can Fail

After attempting to appease social conservatives, the Giuliani campaign has decided that he will "offer a forthright affirmation of his support for abortion rights in public forums, television appearances and interviews in the coming days." This is obviously an effort to make lemonade out of lemons since reports that he contributed to Planned Parenthood scotched any chance he had to fudge the issue with social conservatives.

But how well will this work? Probably not that well. I analyzed the data from the 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey to see the abortion attitudes of Republican primary voters. When asked whether they wanted to ban all abortions, over a third strongly supported doing so and another nine percent were somewhat favorable to this most extreme anti-abortion position. On the less extreme position of making abortions more difficult, a clear majority of Republican primary voters favored doing so, with nearly half strongly in favor.

Ban All Abortions
Strongly FavorSomewhat FavorSomewhat OpposeStrongly Oppose

Make Abortion More Difficult
Strongly FavorSomewhat FavorSomewhat OpposeStrongly Oppose

One caveat is that these numbers are from 2004 when there was no contest for the Republican nomination. Since President Bush was sure to win, primary voters were more likely to be hard-core partisans and less likely to be independents who, presumably, are not as strongly pro-life. Perhaps with a contested nomination, Giuliani will be able to convince more independents and moderate Republicans to show up at the polls to support him. Nonetheless, Giuliani will have a very hard time in a head-to-head contest with a pro-life candidate.


Chris D. said...

I think you're right. Strident pro-lifers are not only a large GOP constituency, they provide money and activists that GOP candidates simply cannot do without. They are also galvanized by key personalities and organizations, who further magnify their importance to the party. I don't see how Giuliani could survive the primary without Dobson, Robertson, or Cal Thomas (and others) immediately declaring that abortion takes a back seat to beating Hillary starting right now. The primaries are too bunched up in early 2008 for them to take a wait-and-see position and then try to finesse it for Rudy as the last-best choice at the last minute. Democrats must begin a wide-ranging campaign of praising Rudy's "tough stand" and how we look forward to having the GOP join us in the post-Sixties world. That'll finish him off.

Dave S. said...

Don't primary voters tend to be more "hard-core partisan" than the general electorate regardless of the competitiveness of the primary? I have no data to back that up but that is my general sense. Thus a moderate who might actually do better in a general election may not make it out of the primaries. I am not referring specifically to Giuliani as I cannot imagine him doing well in the general election (the one in Nov. '08, not the overabundance of near-pointless "if the election were held today" polls), let alone the primaries.

jjv said...

I posted this at Hugh Hewitt's site. The War is the major issue for primary voters. The party is heavily pro-life but it is the valence of that issue that matters. Right now the Republicans fear retreat on the wider war and in Iraq. Giuliani speaks to that. Also, Giuliani isn't a "moderate" publically funded abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy is an outlier view in America. He is in that outlier area.

Giuliani Destroyed the NY Republicans

You are admitedly a "party man." You backed Harriet Miers for that reason. How you can chastize McCain, who has gone everywhere to campaign for everybody for 25 years, while giving the A-OK to Giuliani, who abandoned the Republicans in 94, and at other times, in NY is beyond me.

Rudolf Giuliani left behind him a weakened NY Republican Party. He spurned the Conservative ticket for the Liberal ticket. He has seen nothing wrong with and indeed championed gun confiscation, 9th month abortions, same-sex marriage (going so far as to shack-up with two homosexuals when his adulteries lead to the break up of his second marriage). He took his mistress to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade. He fired good men when forced to share the limelight with them. See Police Chief Bratton.

A Republican Party headed by Rudy Giuliani will wither away. Look at N.Y. That is what a Republican Party with liberal principles looks like over time.

I don't mind arguments for Giuliani (though I will not vote for him for President in a primary) but to argue John McCain is beyond the pale because of campaign financing which no one cares about while Rudy is ok despite being a Planned Parenthood poster boy and Handgun Control, Inc. pin-up is both unfair and unjust.

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