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Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, left, and former Oklahoma City Mayor Ron Norick, right, look back at a screen showing video of the 2001 terror attacks in New York, at the start of a symposium on leadership at the Oklahoma City National Memorial in Oklahoma City, Thursday, April 19, 2007. The two former mayors helped lead their cities through acts of terrorism on American soil.

Los Angeles Times: Abortion aside, conservative Christians like Giuliani for 2008

A poll finds the liberal leaning former New York mayor to be the top choice of white GOP evangelicals.

Nationwide, he is the No. 1 choice of white conservative Christians for the Republican nomination. A Times poll this month found 26% of them favor Giuliani — more than double the portion supporting either of his top rivals, John McCain or Mitt Romney.

Giuliani’s improbable appeal to these culturally conservative voters suggests that they may pose less of a threat to his quest for the nomination than widely assumed. His lead among those voters is partly circumstance; no other Republican has consolidated their support.

But it also demonstrates the potency of his tough-on-terrorism message among conservatives who prize strong leadership on national security.

“You want someone who’s demonstrated character,” said Mike Brown, a Pella city employee walking past tulip beds in the town square, on his way to lunch at In’tveld’s diner.

Brown, 56, thinks Giuliani is wrong on abortion, but he wants a president who will cope with crisis the way the mayor responded to the terrorist strikes of Sept. 11, 2001. “Just being able to remain calm, dispatch the people, handle the situation — those are things I really find favorable,” Brown said.

Some evangelicals are also willing to ignore Giuliani’s liberal social views because they sense that he gives Republicans their best shot at holding the White House in an otherwise dismal election climate for the party.

“We have some differences, but he’s electable,” said Milby, 34, who was picking up her children at the Pella Christian Grade School one recent afternoon.

And then there is Fred Thompson.

But, Flap does not think Thompson will run. But, should he…..

And does anyone think that McCain and/or Romney will sit idly by as Thompson picks off conservative voters?

In Flap’s estimation, a Thompson candidacy further fragments conservative evangelical’s choices – particularly in Iowa and South Carolina.

Let’s look at some quotes:

Retired teacher Lorraine Long, 74, said she was not “a huge Giuliani fan” and strongly disagreed with him on abortion. But she still might support him because of what she sees as his strength on national security.

“If we’re annihilated, we can’t fight abortion and the liberals,” she said.

Vande Voort, 60, a secretary at the Pella airport who described herself as a devout Christian, is willing to look beyond his views on abortion and other social issues.

“I think he’s a good leader,” she said. “We need someone who is a good leader.”

Hence the polls……..

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Rudy stumping for votes in Iowa

Previous:

Rudy Giuliani Watch: Our Party Has to Get Beyond Issues Like That – Abortion

Rudy Giuliani Watch: Rudy is Selling Competence, Not Ideology

Rudy Giuliani Watch: The Public Financing of Abortion FLAP – Part Two

Rudy Giuliani Watch: Blaming the Blogosphere?

Rudy Giuliani Watch: The Public Financing of Abortion FLAP

Rudy Giuliani Watch: Brent Seaborn Strategy Memo

Rudy Giuliani Watch: Michael Barone Looks at the Polls

The Rudy Giuliani Files


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