The notion that George Pataki could win the GOP presidential nomination is just abusrd. After all, in recent years pro-choice, pro-gay, anti-gun moderates haven't been able to win Republican primaries in New Jersey and he's supposed to take that to Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina? Rudy Giuliani, also mentioned in the article, ain't gonna happen either. Pataki's political future is either to run for reelection, lose to Eliot Spitzer, and fade away, retire and fade away, or run against Hillary Clinton, lose, and fade away. Maybe he'll get made EPA chief in a second Bush term like Christie Whitman. The dude is screwed.
The crazy thing about it is that moderate Republicans are very successful in California, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and (when they win the nomination) New Jersey. That -- not the far left -- is where a market niche for a third party exists. You'd never win the White House, but you'd hold the balance of power in both houses of congress and could probably get every president to appoint one or two of your guys to the cabinet as a gesture of nonpartisanship. Giuliani could become the first national chairman and Pataki can be their sacrificial lamb presidential candidate. Then we'll revive the Dixiecrat Party led by Mark Pryor and Inez Tannenbaum.