The most surprising recent national polling result was an answer given by Republicans who attend church weekly when Gallup asked their presidential preference. A plurality chose Rudy Giuliani, a Catholic who in 1999 said: “I don’t attend regularly, but I attend occasionally.” Their choice raises deep concern among prominent conservative Republicans who feel it would be a serious mistake for leaders of the religious right to scorn the former mayor of New York.
This is threatening to become a major problem because, contrary to the conventional wisdom, Giuliani has stubbornly kept first place in national surveys of all Republican voters. His elevated status cannot be written off as merely superior name identification. He no longer seems uncomfortable as a Republican and clearly dominated the most recent presidential debate last week in Dearborn, Mich. The real possibility that Giuliani might actually be the Republican nominee led a group of religious conservatives, meeting in Salt Lake City Sept. 29 under the leadership of James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family, to consider a third-party alternative.
The Flap first mentioned here has neither deterred voter support for Mayor Giuliani nor scared GOP operatives to rally behind another GOP Presidential candidate. Moreover, the Dobson, Viguerie, Land Salt Lake Group group appear to be splitting their own constituency.
But the situation is not a simple confrontation between the Christian right and Giuliani. The Gallup data suggests that Dobson and the Salt Lake City group may be out of touch with rank-and-file churchgoers. A well-known social conservative, who asked that his name not be used, is disturbed by Dobson saying he could not vote for Giuliani under any conditions. Apart from being the lesser of two evils against Sen. Hillary Clinton, Giuliani seems to be the positive choice of millions of religious Americans.
It is HYPOCRITICAL of James Dobson and other members of the Christian Right to be willing to help Hillary Clinton win the Presidency when Rudy Giuliani has pledged to appoint â€œstrict constuctionistâ€ (certainly MORE pro-life than Hillaryâ€™s appointees) judges to the federal bench.
Apparently others, including religious values voters agree.