[ADDED: Picture photoshopped for your amusement.]
But that's not what I came here to talk about! Jeez, I nearly got sucked into a Clinton vortex....
What I want to talk about is those crazy Republicans. According to the WaPo:
[D]anger looms for Republicans should they nominate the politically moderate Giuliani: 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.Yes, yes, blah, blah, blah... We've all heard this sort of thing. But you have to click into the PDF of the poll for the interesting part:
[A]mong the 34% of Republican primary voters who would consider a third party candidate if the candidate chosen is not conservative enough, Giuliani received more support than the other candidates.What?! The question was whether they agreed with the statement: "If the Republican Party nominates a candidate supporting abortion and gay rights, the social conservatives in the Party should run a third party candidate." Then they asked the 34% who agreed who should be that third party candidate. Response:
Giuliani 26%Another question asks "Could you vote for a candidate for president who supports abortion and gay rights if you agree with him on other issues, or could you only vote for a candidate for president who opposes these issues?" This gets 39%, which seems to mean that there are 5% more Republicans who want to abstain from voting and don't want to see a third party candidate. In this 39%, the support breaks down like this:
Thompson 22%Still 19% for Giuliani.
Here's more on the mystifying support for Giuliani:
More than two-thirds of Republican voters said abortion should be illegal (which includes 51% who said illegal with exception – rape, incest and to save the mother’s life). Seventeen percent want abortion to be illegal without any exceptions. And nearly half of Republican voters are against same-sex couples marrying or forming civil unions, including huge majorities of those who consider themselves part of the religious right and Christian fundamentalists.Can anyone explain this? Could it be perhaps that people don't know his positions, but they recognize his name as Italian and assume Catholic along with all that supposedly entails? How long can this ignorance persist?
Although Giuliani is pro-choice and favors civil unions, among those who want abortion to be illegal 35% would still vote for the former mayor; among voters who want same-sex couples to neither marry nor join in civil unions, 24% are also supporting him. He gets the most votes in both of these groups.
Republican haters can assemble over there and laugh and say mean things, but I think we should assume that a vast chunk of Americans have yet to start paying attention to the presidential race. This is chilling, because it looks like the the process — whatever this process is — has already selected the candidates.
But the voting hasn't begun. Maybe in a couple months — Christmas is 2 months away — ordinary people will start paying attention and everything will change. It did in '04.