Giuliani: Hard Sell to Conservatives

Apparantly America’s Mayor is having a tough time endearing himself to “hard-core conservatives” on the campaign trail.

This from NewsMax:

Giuliani’s quest to capture his party’s presidential nomination won’t be easy.

He’s a moderate Republican from New York City, on the wrong side of social issues in the eyes of hard-core conservatives who are a crucial voting bloc in the primaries. His mayoral tenure was marked by criticism of an overzealous police force. He’s linked to the city’s scandal-plagued ex-police chief Bernard Kerik. His thicket of business interests could pose conflicts. He’s been divorced twice.

“I sure have strengths and weaknesses,” Giuliani said recently. “I think that sort of puts me in the same category as just about everybody else that’s running. Are my strengths greater or my weaknesses worse? I don’t know. You have to sort of examine that. That won’t be the issue.”

True, Giuliani does have negatives to overcome but I suspect he will end up on the eventual ticket. Maybe not President, but perhaps VP. He would be an excellent way to balance the ticket with someone like Romney or Brownback as Pres.

“The question is: Can you win a Republican primary a different way? History keeps saying no. But history has never presented us with someone whose favorability numbers are as high as Rudy’s.”

Indeed, national polls have consistently shown him leading for the GOP nomination, and early surveys in key states show him ahead or competitive. He travels to one important state, New Hampshire, this weekend where he will give the keynote address at the state GOP’s annual meeting.

Despite these problems, polls still show Giuliani holding off McCain:

Rudy Giuliani is holding on to the top position among prospective Republican Party presidential hopefuls in the United States, according to a poll by Rasmussen Reports. 30 per cent of respondents would vote for the former New York City mayor in a 2008 primary.

Arizona senator John McCain is second with 22 per cent, followed by former House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich with 12 per cent, and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney with 10 per cent. Support is lower for former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Nebraska senator Chuck Hagel.

What’s interesting here is that apparently Republican voters feel safer with a man who is admittedly a social liberal than with McCain who constantly changes his social views and appears shifty. I remember McCain’s famous line during one of the 2000 debates in which the moderator asked him about voters questioning whether he is conservative enough. McCain trumpeted back that he’s in the party of Teddy Roosevelt and believes in conservative principles, etc… Time has proven those questioning McCain’s conservatism to be correct despite his claim.

Giuliani, someone who is openly pro-choice and openly supports gay marriage is still higher than McCain who is a little more conservative on those issues.

It sort of tells me that the Republicans being polled see it more important to keep an (R) next to the President’s name than put a conservative back in. Of course, these dynamics could, and probably will, change in the coming months. I am looking forward to the post-debate polls come April and May.