One of Rudy Giuliani’s chief attractions to Republican primary voters is supposed to be electability. “We’re going to need the strongest possible Republican who can win in every state,” the former New York City mayor said during an August campaign stop, “and I’m the only one who can do that.” Giuliani, the narrative goes, can change the electoral map of the country, taking stronghold states away from the Democrats and providing the last, best defense against the looming specter of President Hillary Clinton.
But the largest single voting bloc in the GOP is not ready for the coronation of a pro-choice candidate like Giuliani. A group of key Christian conservative leaders voted at a Sept. 29 meeting in Salt Lake City to consider supporting a socially conservative third-party candidate if Giuliani is the Republican nominee; the same group will meet in Washington on Saturday for further discussion of the third-party option. Conservative anger is real, at least for now. As longtime conservative activist Richard Viguerie, who was at the first meeting, told Salon, “If Giuliani is the nominee, it will be the end of the Republican Party. There’s no way that conservatives are going to continue to play the role of mistress, and here’s a man who’s wrong on every single social issue.” Viguerie predicts disaster for a Giuliani candidacy. “In a two-way race, I think he’d be hard-pressed to get 40 percent of the vote. In a three-way race, he won’t come close.” [complete article]