Will Moderation Win in 2008?

The Atlantic recently asked a group of political insiders—selected for their campaign experience, political knowledge, and ties to key voting blocs—about the strength of the religious right and the antiwar left.
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Can someone who is opposed by the religious right win the Republican presidential nomination in 2008?
53% Yes

“Yes … The religious right is not monolithic. The various leaders—public figures and behind-the-scenes fund-raisers—will splinter [in 2008], which will lessen their impact on the primaries.”

“Given the serious issues confronting our nation and world, and the emerging splits in the primary electorate, ideological purity will become secondary to leadership attributes.”

“A candidate who is a positive populist can lead you to independents and evangelicals without having to sell [his] soul to kooks like [James] Dobson and [Pat] Robertson, as [Karl] Rove and [George W.] Bush did. [Ronald] Reagan expanded his base without doing the Rove kowtow.”

“Yes. If the Democratic nominee is Senator [Hillary] Clinton, the religious right will vote for any decent Republican.”

“Definitely, but unless that person can then get evangelicals  to the polls, he loses the general [election].”

41% No

“The religious right is the least stable part of the GOP coalition, and the coalition is not so big that any element can be jettisoned.”

“No, but the GOP nominee cannot win in November if he or she abandons the economic base of the party to court the social wing, as the GOP congressional majority has done for the past two-plus years.”

“This will be John McCain’s biggest problem. His positions on such issues as immigration and the national marriage amendment are counter to the views of the right and will make it an uphill battle for him.”

“No, but [Rudolph] Giuliani will present the toughest test of this proposition.”

6% Depends/Don't know (volunteered)
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