We’ve seen a growing body of evidence of late that far-right social conservatives really are prepared to break with the Republican Party if Rudy Giuliani is the GOP’s presidential nominee. An LAT/Bloomberg poll released last week, for example, found that Giuliani is still the frontrunner for the 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.”
A new survey conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found even more striking results.
[A] solid majority of Republican white evangelicals (55%) say they would at least consider voting for a conservative third-party candidate if the general election is between Giuliani and Clinton. Overall, 44% of Republicans and Republican-leaning voters say they would consider backing a third-party candidate who holds more conservative positions than Giuliani on social issues like abortion and gay marriage.
So, more than half of white evangelical Republicans are prepared to withhold support from the GOP next year — and according to the data, these evangelicals comprise more than a third of the party.
No wonder Giuliani is trying to reposition himself as pro-life.
Post Script: And speaking of Giuliani, be sure to check out today's Krugman: "Giuliani has a habit of saying things, on issues that range from health care to national security, that are demonstrably untrue. And the American people have a right to know that."