I found the idea interesting that Christian leaders threaten to abandon Republicans if Giuliani is the nominee. John Hinderaker at Power Line doesn’t think so. I can’t claim to have more information than John, but I would not be so quick to dismiss the possibility. I know that I can’t vote for Giuliani though I can only speak for myself. (Whether I am at all representative of GOP voters at large is highly debatable.) I am not always a fan of James Dobson and for me the Giuliani issue is not a simple matter of his position on abortion. The fact is that I could name three candidates among the Democratic hopefuls this year who I could vote for over Giuliani.
When I consider candidates I essentially rate them on a personal scale – I don’t try to press my criteria on other people, but I imagine that some other people do a similar thing in deciding who to support. This places candidates on a scale ranking who I would be more likely to support out of any given set of candidates. On that scale there is a line which I have decided to call the Write-In Line. Candidates falling below that line can’t get my vote no matter who they are running against. (I considered calling it the Orrin Hatch Line since I think I could vote for Orrin if he were running against Giuliani – but he’s pretty well lost my vote otherwise.) If I am voting in a contest with no candidates above that line I write in a candidate who I could vote for. Who knows how many people there are like me who just could not vote for Giuliani.
If the goal of this group in raising the option of a GOP split is to keep Giuliani from getting the nomination then their best chance would be to go one step further and choose a candidate now that they could support – I have a short list if they’re interested. I would say that they have to back someone no later than the day after the Iowa caucuses if they want to have any impact in the nomination. If they are really like me and could not vote for Giuliani then I would say that the possibility of a split is real and a Giuliani nomination could change the face of American politics.