Would the religious right really will break with the Republican Party if Rudy Giuliani is the GOP’s presidential nominee? Consider this Newsweek interview with Richard Land, a leading evangelical who serves as president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
NEWSWEEK: So we wanted to ask you, first of all, about the third party idea and whether it’s serious. A number of people are suggesting it is just a threat.
LAND: My intuition [is that] this is not a bluff. If Giuliani is the nominee, there will be a third party. There are things that Giuliani could do to help mitigate the damage. But I have been in too many discussions over the last 15 years where evangelical leaders have said, “The one thing we will never allow to happen is for the Republican Party to take us for granted the way the Democrat [sic] Party too often takes the African-American community for granted.” This is not a bluff.
Land added that he couldn't violate his "moral conscience" by voting for a pro-choice Republican, and he believes "somewhere between 25 percent and a third" of the party agrees.
There’s data to suggest Land is probably about right. A new LAT/Bloomberg poll, released this morning, found that Giuliani is still the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, but “about one-third of GOP voters said they would consider supporting a third-party candidate in the general election if the party nominee supported abortion and gay rights.”
It undermines Giuliani's "electability" argument a bit, doesn't it?