Giuliani And The Evangelicals

It's worth pointing out that, all other things being equal, Rudy Giuliani doesn't really need any more evangelical/conservative support than he already has.

He doesn't need more in New Hampshire; He doesn't need more to win a three way race in South Carolina; he has, at the moment, more support from churchgoing protestants than Mitt Romney does, according to Gallup's polling. Not more in Michigan. Not more in Florida. The more doctrinal evangelicals split between Romney and Thompson, the better for Giuliani.

What he needs is for these voters not to body block him; not to launch a movement to stop him; not to distract him and the party during the period between his presumed securing of the nomination and the election.

Tomorrow, he might as well say: I know you won't vote for me... just don't not vote because of me. Expect him to use the words "Hillary Clinton" -- as in, y'all know..ok, he won't say y'all, he'll say you awl -- you awl know that I'm going to be the nominee and you know that Hillary Clinton is going to be the Democratic nominee, and I'm really the only person who can beat her. (That reality is sinking in here: I overheard Terrence Jeffries of Human Events acknowledge that he didn't think, until recently, that Giuliani could actually win the nomination.)

His campaign isn't saying much about the speech, but it's not hard to guess that Giuliani will spend the bulk of his time talking about the clash of civilizations -- the [Christian] West versus the [Radical] Muslim east; the threat to our core values; the implicit Sean Hannity notion that you can't begin to fight abortion if you're dead.

Interviews with more a dozen attendees here, randomly chosen, suggest that they won't be receptive at all.

Not Carol Franz, wearing a green "Survivor of Adult Stem Cell Research" shirt.
I'm basically going on life issues because I've gotten off the death bed twice in my life," she said.

When Giuliani speaks here tomorrow morning, I asked Steve Pickett of West Palm Beach, Florida, what he would like to hear?

"I resign. I'm out of the race," he said.

Beth Picket said he wouldn't vote for Giuliani under any circumstances.

"Not even if Hillary..."

"Nope."

Presented by

Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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