October 20, 2007


'Values voters' flock to Thompson (David Paul Kuhn, Oct 20, 2007, Politico)

Fred Thompson may have failed to impress Beltway insiders when he finally launched his run for the White House last month, but he is winning over a critical segment of the Republican coalition, new polling suggests.

Conservative Christians favor Thompson by a 10-point margin over his closest rival, Rudy Giuliani.

It’s a sharp reversal for Giuliani. [...]

[W]eekly Republican churchgoers back Thompson by a margin of 29 percent to 19 percent for Giuliani — roughly tying John McCain.

Rudy was just this cycle's Howard Dean--the supposed front-running candidate who couldn't withstand public scrutiny. After you clear that fella out of the way the party returns to the more orthodox choices. In '04 that meant the Democrats went Northeastern liberal. The GOP will choose a conservative Southerner, most likely John McCain, but Fred Thompson is the other possibility.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 20, 2007 8:41 AM

McCain is a conservative Southener?
McCain is a longtime beltway insider whose conservative rating has been steadily declining since 2000. The country is in a very anti-incumbent mood right now which benefits Thompson, not McCain.

Posted by: AWW at October 20, 2007 11:25 AM

McCain has been conservative for 70 years. Romney & Rudy for 7 weeks.

Posted by: oj at October 20, 2007 3:36 PM

John McCain has the most consistently conservative record among the Republicans

Posted by: kmorrison at October 20, 2007 6:46 PM

This week, a couple of leading Baptist evangelicals endorsed Mitt.

But they didn't choose Fred. Or especially McCain. That bridge has been burned, and I suspect many Republican religious voters would sooner vote Rudy than McCain. So OJ's analysis of Rudy's problem applies even more to the Senator from MSNBC.

Now Dobson has spoken harshly of Rudy, but he has also been critical of Fred, too. And he has said he would never vote for McCain. What to do, what to do?

The choice will come down to the techno-businessman (and political novice, really), the Mayor, the old bull, and the plodding actor/lawyer. None have really energized a broad following, beyond a small circle and some pundits who have jumped on their respective bandwagons.

Funny that I have seen lots of Ron Paul signs (and a few impromptu street rallies) here in NC, which doesn't have a primary until next April (I believe). Will the Paul groupies be voting for Cynthia McKinney next November? I wouldn't be surprised.

Mitt and Rudy have stumbled this year (often like amateurs), and Fred has been way too languid. And McCain, well - he has tried to legislate his way through. Not what a good GOP nominee needs to do. Perhaps he has time to tack away from that, but a loss in NH will finish him (especially with the $$$ gone).

In the end, the candidate who wins will be the one who shows the force and power to take the fight to the Democrats, and the grace and class to rise above the media and their attempts to divide the GOP. This election, I think "values" voters are going to want more of the former than the latter, and that would seem to favor Rudy.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 21, 2007 12:28 AM

Endorsements only matter inside the Beltway. Baptists don't think Mitt is Christian.

Posted by: oj at October 21, 2007 7:39 AM

Exactly. But if their leaders are malleable on Mormonism, the congregants will be malleable on metrosexuality.

P.S. - Endorsements don't even matter inside the Beltway (exzcept to the extent that backing the wrong horse shuts one out of a future administration).

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 21, 2007 9:24 AM

Not a Baptist, eh? We don't have leaders. That's our point.

Posted by: oj at October 21, 2007 12:01 PM

I thought all Baptists followed Bob Jones, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Robertson. And Karl Rove. :>)

The problem for Fred, Mitt, and even McCain is that they cannot attack Rudy to win social conservative votes. Mitt (aside from his faith) is too ambivalent, Fred is too languid, and McCain has dumped on Christian voters for 8 years. So the average voter waits, while the people like James Dobson complain and look petulant.

Posted by: jim hamlen at October 22, 2007 12:14 AM

Fred and Maverick can and are. Mitt can't. Which is why the conservatives are rising and the Northeasterners falling.

Posted by: oj at October 22, 2007 6:30 AM

"The GOP will choose a conservative Southerner..."

You're right. And it'll be Huckabee. (Plus, Huckabee is no Tancredo.)

Posted by: Brad at October 22, 2007 7:23 PM