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Rudy's Chances

An interesting pro-Giuliani email:

It seems clear that the conservative punditry and - most especially - conservative religious leaders are panicked over the probability of the Republican Party will nominate Rudy Giuliani as its Presidential candidate for 2008. The conventional wisdom is that primary voters don't know just how liberal Rudy is and when they find out, they'll flee to another candidate. Between now and February of next year, religious conservative leaders will do everything they can to destroy Rudy's candidacy.

The problem is there appears to be a disconnect between the conservative punditry and religious leaders and the Republican primary voters expressing in polls their approval of Rudy as their likely candidate. How can this be?
No part of the electorate follows politics more closely than primary voters. The fact is they already know about Rudy's past liberal positions. But they also know Rudy is a born leader, agrees with them on most issues and is probably the only Republican candidate who can handily beat Mrs. Bill Clinton or Mr. Obama. Republicans - conservatives & moderates - want to win. More than that, they want to keep the Clintons and the Obamas out of the White House.

And when Republican primary voters look at all the other candidates, what viable alternatives do they actually have?

• McCain: War hero who's contemptuous of conservatives, who seems to have a screw loose and could self-combust at any moment
• Romney: Plastic, seemingly computer-generated, opportunistic flip-flopper - and let's not kid ourselves, the Mormon thing is going to be a problem for some
• Gingrich: Great guy, smart as a whip, been married 3 times, had affair during Clinton impeachment thing, so much baggage - has higher negatives in polling than Hillary
• and the flavor of the day - Fred Thompson: Boring, lack-luster career in the senate, not really qualified, flash in the pan and won't finish in the top 3

None of the other candidates are on the radar and, as such, worth mentioning.
If Rudy wins the nomination, will Dr. James Dobson et al run a 3rd party candidate in the general election? If so, they'll commit political suicide.