October 24, 2007

The mesmerizing Clintons and the mystifying Giuliani.

Yikes, look at the photograph of Bill and Hillary Clinton on this WaPo story about a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll. It looks like a photorealist painting. I'm picturing this the size of a gallery wall and oozing irony. Or as a 50-foot banner hanging along the wall of a large government building. Look at those visionary, upcast eyes.....

[ADDED: Picture photoshopped for your amusement.]

But that's not what I came here to talk about! Jeez, I nearly got sucked into a Clinton vortex....

What I want to talk about is those crazy Republicans. According to the WaPo:
[D]anger looms for Republicans should they nominate the politically moderate Giuliani: About one-third of GOP voters said they would consider supporting a third-party candidate in the general election if the party nominee supported abortion and gay rights.
Yes, yes, blah, blah, blah... We've all heard this sort of thing. But you have to click into the PDF of the poll for the interesting part:
[A]mong the 34% of Republican primary voters who would consider a third party candidate if the candidate chosen is not conservative enough, Giuliani received more support than the other candidates.
What?! The question was whether they agreed with the statement: "If the Republican Party nominates a candidate supporting abortion and gay rights, the social conservatives in the Party should run a third party candidate." Then they asked the 34% who agreed who should be that third party candidate. Response:
Giuliani 26%
Thompson 19
McCain 10
Huckabee 9
Romney 7
Another question asks "Could you vote for a candidate for president who supports abortion and gay rights if you agree with him on other issues, or could you only vote for a candidate for president who opposes these issues?" This gets 39%, which seems to mean that there are 5% more Republicans who want to abstain from voting and don't want to see a third party candidate. In this 39%, the support breaks down like this:
Thompson 22%
Giuliani 19
Huckabee 11
Romney 11
McCain 8
Still 19% for Giuliani.

Here's more on the mystifying support for Giuliani:
More than two-thirds of Republican voters said abortion should be illegal (which includes 51% who said illegal with exception – rape, incest and to save the mother’s life). Seventeen percent want abortion to be illegal without any exceptions. And nearly half of Republican voters are against same-sex couples marrying or forming civil unions, including huge majorities of those who consider themselves part of the religious right and Christian fundamentalists.

Although Giuliani is pro-choice and favors civil unions, among those who want abortion to be illegal 35% would still vote for the former mayor; among voters who want same-sex couples to neither marry nor join in civil unions, 24% are also supporting him. He gets the most votes in both of these groups.
Can anyone explain this? Could it be perhaps that people don't know his positions, but they recognize his name as Italian and assume Catholic along with all that supposedly entails? How long can this ignorance persist?

Republican haters can assemble over there and laugh and say mean things, but I think we should assume that a vast chunk of Americans have yet to start paying attention to the presidential race. This is chilling, because it looks like the the process — whatever this process is — has already selected the candidates.

But the voting hasn't begun. Maybe in a couple months — Christmas is 2 months away — ordinary people will start paying attention and everything will change. It did in '04.

55 comments:

rhhardin said...

Bill wears his wedding ring as a symbol of fidelity. Strangely, you can see it in the picture.

Because the photograher was female.

Richard said...

Can anyone explain this?

Ann-- Do you ever actually speak to Jane Voter Doe and John Voter Doe? You and your readers follow such thing as elections. Jane and John Doe don't really care right now. I've spoken with otherwise intelligent men and women who don't even know whether McCain or Giuliani are Republican or Democrat. Many have not even heard of Romney. So my explanation is that the poll is meaningless at this point, and the results are "mystifying" simply because voters are colossally uniformed and hopelessly unfocused.

Ron said...

The photo reminds me of those old Cultural Revolution posters about the glories of the Industrial Worker...not that we're calling the Clintons Maoist or anything like that.

tjl said...

'voters are colossally uniformed and hopelessly unfocused'

Can't this be explained equally well by concluding that voters are colossally bored and hopelessly tired of an endless campaign that began one day after the 2006 election? Political junkies may obsess about every shift in the polls, but non-junkies will tune out until Labor Day of 2008.

EnigmatiCore said...
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Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I think a large part of the confusion arises in the relative strength of the two polar extremes in attitudes towards abortion.

Surveys repeatedly report something like 22% of respondents are in favor of absolutely un-restricted abortion -- any female, any age, any stage, any reason. It's a pretty safe bet these folks are all Democrats.

Those believing abortion should be illegal in nearly all situations more typically account for about 3% of respondents. Equally safe bet that these folks are Republicans.

Registered Democrats and Republicans are each about 33%, and they're the only folks who give the remotest rat's rear-end at this phase of the political cycle.

22% out of 33% is a clear and overwhelming majority, so on the issue of abortion the Democrats are completely controlled by the extreme pro-abortion position.

On the other hand, 3% out of 33% is enough to have significant influence in the Republican party, but the extreme anti-abortion position doesn't have the votes to control it.

That was well illustrated in South Dakota, when the legislature passed (and the governor signed) a strong anti-abortion law ... the people voted to overturn that law the first chance they had. In a state where 60% of the women voted Bush.

I suspect the confusion you highlight is to no small degree a function of uncertainty amongst the 75% of people who favor some restriction on abortion.

It also means that a candidate such as Giuliani can write off the anti-abortion extremists and doesn't have to pick up a tremendous number of votes from the middle to offset that loss.

The single-issue voters on abortion are the extremists at either end, not the 75% in the middle.

If you can't pass a strong anti-abortion law in South Dakota, you can't pass one anywhere in America ... Roe or no-Roe. The issue is increasingly irrelevant.

EnigmatiCore said...

I doubt that Republican voters are any more ignorant than Democratic voters or independents.

More likely, they are just as full of contradictions, and wanting to have it both ways, as Democratic voters and independent voters.

Is there any evidence out there to point to one of these explanations over the other? I have not seen any evidence that says that Republicans in these polls are unaware of Giuliani's positions. However, Democrats just ran an entire campaign based on eliminating a culture of corruption which was wildly popular with Democratic voters, yet they are poised to nominate Hillary. Do I think that Democratic voters are unaware of her issues in this regard? No. I think they don't care. I think they want to have it both ways-- they want their issue and to have the candidate that gives their party the best chance to win, too. Even if that makes them somewhat contradictory.

I think Republicans are the same way.

I think independents are the same way, only without a specific party that benefits from this.

Honestly, I find this even more depressing than the idea that people are ignorant. Some are, but more are Machiavellian.

Paul Zrimsek said...

colossally uniformed

Now I'm picturing Bill and Hill dressed in Maoist getups three sizes too big for them, with the baggy pants and all, as they gaze off into the shining socialist future.

hdhouse said...

Could it be that, as you surmise, Guiliani has attempted to wrap himself in 9-11 to effective smother the flames on his other stances. That probably will work for a long while. The debates do little other than toss up softballs so what ever contradictory message there is, doesn't get out.

As a New York state resident and NYC worker, the vast improvement in the functioning of the city under Bloomberg as opposed to Rudy isn't lost on anyone and for that reason alone his local foothold borders between slim and none.

I think Hillary or Barack will be highly effective in driving a lot of unknown points home before the election. It is a cinch he won't carry his home state.

B said...
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Paul Zrimsek said...

If you demand a definition, "people who hate Republicans" strikes me as a pretty good first cut.

B said...

As a New York state resident and NYC worker, the vast improvement in the functioning of the city under Bloomberg as opposed to Rudy isn't lost on anyone

Could it be that Bloomberg is successful exactly because of the foundation Rudy built?

All Rudy has to do is show the rest of America before Rudy and after Rudy pictures of Time Square and that's all non-New Yorkers need to know.

Oh wait -TV and the movies have already been doing that for years . . .

Nice try. Rudy doesn't need New York. New York didn't matter in 2000 or 20004. Why does any Republican need it now?

EnigmatiCore said...

"As a New York state resident and NYC worker, the vast improvement in the functioning of the city under Bloomberg as opposed to Rudy isn't lost on anyone"

As a former NY resident, the vast improvement in the functioning of the city under Giuliani as opposed to the tenures of Koch and Dinkins isn't lost on anyone-- except perhaps hdhouse.

I think B has it right-- Bloomberg has not messed up what Rudy put in place. Hell, he may even have improved on it.

I think turning garbage into silver is more impressive than turning silver into gold. But your mileage may vary.

Too many jims said...

Then they asked the 34% who agreed who should be that third party candidate.

I read this section of the press release alittle differently. I didn't think the pollsters asked the respondents who fell in the 34% who they wanted to see as a 3rd party candidate; rather I thought the pollsters took who answered that they would support a third party candidate and then looked at who those respondents had chosen.

B said...

Thanks Paul for making me reread what I misread.

New York didn't matter in 2000 or 20004.

or in 2004 either. I'm placing bets on 20004.

B said...

I took a group of high school drama kids to New York in early 2001 for a Broadway "tour" For all my previous business travels, it was my first time in Manhattan itself. We constantly were asking New Yorkers how they liked living there, and the answers mostly ended up along the lines of "Thank God for Disney and Giuliani". That often included "Thank God for Giuliani, that son-of-a-bitch". And that included firemen and police.

So it seems that city New Yorkers are a different breed apart from America - they can appreciate someone doing what no one else had been able to do for them before, while still reserving the right to hate that someone at the first sign of anyone's flatulence.

How cosmopolitan!

The Drill SGT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Drill SGT said...

Shall we call that one the

"Stand by the Little Woman" pose? like we had Hill do the "stand by her man" stuff in 92?

Roger said...

Stop the presses for late breaking news: New York wont go Republican in 2008! Breathtaking analysis from HD. Damn, HD--with insight such as that you ought to get out of advertising and become a talking head.

As for the poll, as several other posters have noted, I suspect only the political junkies such as moi and others on this board are paying any attention. Most folks I suspect are leading real lives and will start paying attention next spring during the primary season. Some regretably will never pay attention.

peter hoh said...

According to a recent poll, 41 percent of Americans surveyed could not name a Republican running for president. That suggests that a significant portion of the populace is not paying attention yet.

http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2007/10/24/number/index.html

ricpic said...

Although I agree with enigmaticore that potential voters, across the political spectrum, are split minded, that's not the same thing as being Machiavellian. It's just another testament to our divided human nature.

EnigmatiCore said...

ricpic,

That probably is a better way of putting it.

rhhardin said...

What will win the election with voters, me anyway, is a line that evidences good character.

I haven't heard any so far, except from Giuliani right after 9/11, on the unknown death toll, that whatever it is, it's more than any of us can bear.

(Bush, at the Al Smith Dinner right before the 2000 election, said several nice things about fellow attendee Al Gore, and that he couldn't wish him success this year, but he did wish him well.

Al responded with an attack on Bush.)

Sloanasaurus said...

The Republican front runners are great. They all have ups and downs. Still, I would support any of them in the general election because they all support smaller government, a strong defense, and are all pro-American. None of them are corrupt like Hillary. They dont have delagates in their back pocket like Hillary has after years of corruption and campaign donations.

It still amazes me that Hillary is the front runner for the dems. There are so many better Democratic candidates. What about Bill Richardson or Mark Warner. She is a terrible candidate. She has sooooo much baggage. This year I am wating to send all my political donations to independent groups. It's going to be great fun. The only reason she is the front runner is because she has crushed the opposition. The Dems have no alternative to her.

In contrast, the GOP field is running on merit and policy. I see a big win for the GOP in 2008. Maybe 55-42. Maybe over 400 Electoral votes if Rudy wins the nomination.

I think Rudy will win in the primary because social value voting is not uniform among the entire party and many see Rudy as the best bet to defeat Hillary at this stage in history.

Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said...

How long can this ignorance persist?

Right up until the day after the election.

Roger said...

Agree with Sloan--I think the whole social value thing is highly overrated and is a media/talking head cliche. With few exceptions (Michael Barone for example) most pundits simply repeat what other pundits are saying: who can forget "gravitas" in 2000 and "nuance" in 2004. One of the talking heads, the late Peter Jennings, never finished high school. As several have noted above, voters are more sophisticated and make trade offs within their value systems all the time. It simply doesnt square with the commentariats' world view.

hdhouse said...

ohh B. poor pitiful b.

times square revitalization began years back. did rudy back it? yes. and your point?

when rudy finally left office the city went through a horrible time post 9-11. rudy didn't do squat there except set up a company with bernie k. (remember him) and get security contracts. bloomberg inhererited a massive debt and revenue shortfall and steered the city through it. nyc sparkles now and is efficient. rudy governed over none of that. he governed instead during the clinton boom years and still screwed it up.

did it ever occur to you that one of the reasons hillary will schmeer rudy in new york is that people regard her more highly than they do rudy and feel she is far more comptetent?.....probably not.

hdhouse said...

thanking sloanasaurus for the big laugher of the day.

Steve M. said...

Look at those visionary, upcast eyes.....

And the difference between that and this is what exactly?

Don't worry -- as soon as he passes Hillary in the polls after they get the nominations, he'll start get the totalitarian-kitsch treatment big time, too.

Steve M. said...

"start getting."

Steve M. said...

Can anyone explain this?

They're desperate for a hero and they think he's it, especially when he talks about going after dirty filthy terrorists or dirty filthy criminals in dirty filthy New York.

And so they love the big lug. And what happens when you're in love? See the last two lines of Some Like It Hot:

Jerry: Oh, you don't understand, Osgood! Ehhhh... I'm a man.

Osgood: Well, nobody's perfect.


They're so in love that they don't want to be confused with the facts.

Sloanasaurus said...

did it ever occur to you that one of the reasons hillary will schmeer rudy in new york is that people regard her more highly than they do rudy and feel she is far more comptetent?.....probably not

Hd, it will be a joy to watch you and others attempt to defend Hillary over the election season. The only way to really do it is the way you just did - smear the other guy. I am sure Dems will be taking a lot more showers to wash off all the filth in the coming year.

Hillary is a phoney corrupt candidate and you know it. Come on... bus boys donating $2000? Lets get real...

Jack Shaftoe said...

Allow me to be a test case. I'm:

Pro-life, but far from a single-issue voter. I think Roe should be overturned and the issue should be decided in state legislatures. If I were a state legislator, I'd vote to outlaw abortion, with some exceptions.

Anti-gay marriage, but I support civil unions. (i.e. the Dick Cheney position) My concern is not with the ability of gays and lesbians to be able to create binding contracts and live how they see fit. Rather, I'm nervous that elevating this state to "marriage" will eventually lead to lawsuits against churches which don't perform gay marriages and against schools which don't offer equal time for gay couples in their 2nd grade textbooks. (10th grade, I'm okay with, though.)

Pro-2nd Amendment.

Christian, and Conservative. I worry greatly about our culture. I'm not sure what to do about it, though, because I don't want government censorship. I think that speaking out against a pervasive culture that is trying to make our kids grow up too fast (has anyone seen MTV recently?) is the first responsibility of families, organizations and churches, not the government. I'm just tired of being called a prude for doing so. (Hey, I like HBO, but I don't like having to explain some of the commercials that come on during an NFL game to my kids).

So there you go. I'm a conservative Republican, I guess. My first choice is Romney.

My second choice, however, is Rudy. The possibility of voting third party is laughable to me. Why?

Two reasons.

First, I have no doubt in my mind that Rudy will be an unapologetic and unwavering leader on foreign policy issues. He's thick-skinned and willing to stand against the inevitable shifts in public opinion in the War on Terror. That, more than anything else, is the issue of our time.

Second, Rudy's a fighter. He states what he believes and tells you why he believes you're wrong. After years of wishy-washy (on domestic policy) leadership where the Republican concept of leadership was to try to co-opt Democratic issues and make them less Democratic, we need someone who can stand up and clearly say what he thinks.

I like what Rudy did in NYC. A lesser Republican leader would have been holding "peace and understanding" summits with turnstile jumpers, Al Sharpton, Bruce Springsteen, the squeegee lobby and the NYT ed board. Rudy just did what he believed was right. We need some of that.

Trooper York said...

Just a word on Giuliani. As a blue collar working class New Yorker all my life, I was part of the majority that put Rudy in office after the disaster that was Dinkins. Most people loved what Rudy did as long as he was doing it to someone else. Break the Mafia hold in the Fulton Fish market and private carting, great. Stomp on the squeegee shit heads, excellent. CONFISCATE MY CAR IF I GET A DUI, WHO THE FUCK DOES HE THINK HE IS? That's the progression. Rudy doesn't compromise. If he's against it, look out. Bloomberg on the other hand is a stealth disaster for the city. He is primarily a businessman and he has cut deals all over the city with entrenched realty interests that will change the face of the city for years to come. Hdhouse is more of an artist than a business person, so I don't think he has a clear conception of what the deals that Bloomberg cut will mean to the physical landscape of the city in the years to come. Giuliani is sort of like LaGuardia, strange and quirky and volatile. But Bloomberg is like Robert Moses, a technocrat who has screwed us big time, it's just not apparent yet, but the effect will be felt for decades to come.

Now back to posts about the Slave Girls of Gor.

Windbag said...

Forgive me if someone has addressed this already, but time is precious this morning and I didn't have time to read all of the comments thus far...

Can anyone explain this? Could it be perhaps that people don't know his positions, but they recognize his name as Italian and assume Catholic along with all that supposedly entails? How long can this ignorance persist? our hostess asks.

You hit it on the head, Ann. Back in 1992, Operation Rescue was polling people on the election, and discovered that 51% of Southern Baptists were not aware that Bill Clinton was pro-abortion.

I can understand that you don't know the candidates' stances on New Zealand or subsidies for mushroom farms or even something complex like NAFTA, but you have to work hard to be that ignorant.

I guess it's easier to watch Wheel of Fortune than to devote fifteen minutes a day to reading a news article or two.

Yes, people are that ignorant. They will pick their candidates for the most inane reasons. I've heard people say that they are voting for someone because their daddy would have voted for him, their name sounds cool, or that they liked their signs on the side of the road.

Trooper York said...

Although we are not told what the "eleven kisses" are, (names of the kisses) or how these particular kisses are performed, we are given the understanding that the "eleven kisses" are so basic that it is preposterous that a "trained pleasure slave" could not know them. (Perhaps similar to claiming one is a Chief Financial Officer on earth, yet not knowing how to add or subtract?)
“Another loot girl taken by our noble Captain, Bejar, in his brilliant capture of the Blossoms of Telnus,” called the auctioneer. He was also the slaver, Vart, once Publius Quintus of Ar, banished from that city, and nearly impaled, for falsifying slave data. He had advertised a girl as a trained pleasure slave who, as it turned out, did not even know the eleven kisses.
(Explorers of Gor, John Norman)

Joan said...

That Pew survey is irrelevant -- it's the "news interest index" poll; the sample is "approximately 1,000 adults."

Adults. Not registered voters, or likely voters, just "adults." Polls like this give impressions but don't mean anything in terms of what the voting population knows, feels, or will do.

Going back to the WaPo story and the LAT/Bloomberg poll, I disagree that voter ignorance explains the Giuliani support: that poll's sample was of Democrat and Republican primary and caucus voters, by definition the people who are most engaged in the political process. If anyone knows anything about these candidates, these are the ones. So while the persistent ignorance theory holds true for the general population, for the LAT/Bloomberg poll, it oughtn't apply -- unless we're willing to accept the idea that people who are motivated to vote in primaries do so only after researching their own candidate?

I think Giuliani's conservative bona fides on national defense and fiscal responsibility outweigh possible concerns about his social liberalism, plus he has been stumping on the fact that he will appoint conservative justices, which is where the ideology of the president has the greatest impact.

BJK said...

I'm largely in the same position as Jack Shaftoe. (I'm less supportive of civil unions, but due more to the tax consequences than anything else.)

I'm between Rudy and Fred as my candidate of choice, but I could also support Romney (who has a credibility gap, IMO) or McCain (good on foreign policy...but I hate McCain-Feingold and his immigration bill).

Call me crazy, but I just don't see national legislation against abortion to reach the President's desk in the next 6-10 years. If President Rudy holds the 'strict constructionist' line on his SC nominations, I'll take my chances with the high court. (If he doesn't, look for Conservatives to take charge faster than you can say "Harriet Miers.")

That said, my biggest concern is running a Presidential nominee who isn't a lock to win his home state (a problem Romney shares, FWIW).

SteveR said...

That is one creepy picture.

Rich B said...

Bill sure does look grim. I wonder if he's protecting his nuts with the other hand.

Trooper York said...

It seemed to be a sort of monster, or symbol representing a monster, of a form which only a diseased fancy could conceive. If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings; but it was the general outline of the whole which made it most shockingly frightful.
( H.P. Lovecraft The Call of Cthulhu (1926)

Trooper York said...

And that's just Hillary.

Richard Dolan said...

That the answers to abstract questions on a poll like this are inconsistent is not particularly surprising. Elections are about choosing between the candidates on the ballot. The necessity of making a choice, and understanding that whatever choice one makes has consequences, have a wonderful way of concentrating the mind of most voters. For the same reason, third party candidacies usually poll much better before the election than they do when the votes are counted. That dynamic is missing when poll questions are posed in the abstract, and thus these polling questions never capture that basic reality at play in a contested election. As a result, polls (and especially early polls) generate a lot of static -- views and feelings unconstrained by the necessity of choosing between two candidates that actual elections are all about. It's the static that Ann is focusing on here.

Rudy's basic pitch to the anti-abortion voter is that (a) he won't lie to them by pretending to hold views that he doesn't, but (b) he will appoint judges who will not shove the abortion (or gay marriage) agenda down their throats, and instead will return those issues to the political branches at the state level. At election time, that pitch will be contrasted (presumably) with Hillary's, to the effect that abortions should be "safe, legal and rare," along with whatever similarly fudged position she has on gay marriage. Perhaps some social conservatives will decide to sit it out, if that's the choice. But many others will vote to advance their interest when faced with having to vote for one or the other.

Ann wonders how it can be that Rudy does quite well when voters are asked to pick who they would support as a third party candidate among the R candidates, when the poll makes it clear that the point of the hypothetical third party candidacy is to advance socially conservative policies Rudy doesn't support. To me this inconsistency in the polling data suggests that a large segment of the socially conservative voters has already internalized the actual dynamic of the election: it's Rudy vs. Hillary that's really in play, and between them the choice is easy. Rudy may not be their ideal, but he is much better than the alternative (Hillary), and is the R candidate who provides the best chance of beating her. The greatest danger to Rudy is thus that these voters will conclude that some other R candidate has as good or an even better chance of beating Hillary.

Balfegor said...

I think Richard is right that it's massive voter ignorance at this point. We've seen here on these boards, even, people who seem not to have noticed that neither Clinton II nor Obama is actually pledging to withdraw troops from Iraq, or that Clinton has pointedly refused to disavow the use of military force to compel Iran to abandon its nuclear programme. See here:

Iran must conform to its nonproliferation obligations and must not be permitted to build or acquire nuclear weapons. If Iran does not comply with its own commitments and the will of the international community, all options must remain on the table.

In debates, although there has been a bit of flip-flop on this particular issue, she's even declined to disavow the use of nuclear weapons to force a resolution to international disputes.

In her Foreign Affairs essay, she draws distinctions between her policies and Bush II's, but when you get down below the level of her rhetoric, they're distinctions largely without practical differences. And yet she enjoys a commanding lead in the polls for a party where a plurality -- maybe even a sizable majority -- really wants us to disengage from Iraq post haste, would be horrified if we were to take military action against Iran, and would consider the use of nuclear weapons nothing short of catastrophic, under pretty much any circumstances.

And these aren't side issues for most of these Democratic primary voters, as far as I can tell. They seem to be make-or-break issues, that just, for some reason, aren't making and breaking. I suspect that, as with these Republicans and Giuliani, people just aren't paying attention. They don't realise that Giuliani may not hew the party line on all issues, just because he is a Republican, or that Clinton II may not hew the party line on all issues, just because she is a Democrat.

Re: Joan:

Going back to the WaPo story and the LAT/Bloomberg poll, I disagree that voter ignorance explains the Giuliani support: that poll's sample was of Democrat and Republican primary and caucus voters, by definition the people who are most engaged in the political process. If anyone knows anything about these candidates, these are the ones.

Or, I guess, an alternative explanation could be that these polls are exposing revealed preference, as it were. Republicans say they think abortion is a do or die issue for their candidates, but that's just a pose to make themselves feel morally superior. In fact, they don't care that much; they'd prefer to win. Democrats say that Iraq and the use of force against recalcitrant satrapies is a do or die issue for their candidates, but that's just a post to make themselves feel morally superior. In fact, they don't care that much; they'd prefer to win.

And perhaps they're afraid that if Clinton II loses, she will do such things, what they are yet, they know not, but they will be the terrors of the Earth! Haha.

Rich B said...

Richard -

That old Onion article was pretty good. I also enjoyed "Irrelevant Pop Stars Unite Against Bush". Bruce Springsteen sure has aged the past few years. Must be Bush Degenerative Disorder.

Sloanasaurus said...

If President Rudy holds the 'strict constructionist' line on his SC nominations, I'll take my chances with the high court.

I think the trick for Rudy will be getting social conservatives to trust that he will appoint these types of judges.

Here is how he could make this sale. He could say something like...

"You may not trust me when it comes to abortion. I understand that. However, I know you trust me when it it comes to law and order and prosecuting terrorists and criminals The same judges (i.e., strict constructionists) that won't rewrite the constitution to allow foreign terrorists miranda rights are the same judges who wont rewrite the constitution to allow other non-enumerated rights (i.e. gay marriage). Therefore, you can trust me on judges."

Balfegor said...

"You may not trust me when it comes to abortion. I understand that. However, I know you trust me when it it comes to law and order and prosecuting terrorists and criminals The same judges (i.e., strict constructionists) that won't rewrite the constitution to allow foreign terrorists miranda rights are the same judges who wont rewrite the constitution to allow other non-enumerated rights (i.e. gay marriage). Therefore, you can trust me on judges."

Doesn't that sort of fall apart, though, when you look at cases like Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, where conservatives' two favourite justices -- Scalia and Thomas -- end up on diametrically opposite sides of the issue? From a strict constructionist standpoint, the treatment of terrorism suspects is, I think, a closer and more ambiguous question than Roe v. Wade or gay marriage. I'm not sure you can draw a straight line from a jurisprudence on terrorism to a jurisprudence on abortion or gay marriage. I suppose Giuliani might try, but I'm not sure why that would be an especially compelling argument.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Palladian said...

Sorry, but I couldn't resist...

Randal Rogers (I. Ronin) said...

This early in the season, polls are still more about name recognition than anything else. IIRC, a few weeks back, there was a poll that showed an incredibly high percentage of GOP supporters of Giuliani thought he was pro-life. For that matter, it might have been discussed here at Althouse.

Cedarford said...

Can anyone explain this? Could it be perhaps that people don't know his positions, but they recognize his name as Italian and assume Catholic along with all that supposedly entails? How long can this ignorance persist?

Possible explainations? Too crowded a field.

1. Meaning that some of the 2nd tier have gotten a pass on scrutiny - notably Huckabee - who is square with the "Base" on God, guns, and abortion - but for Open Borders, taxpayers footing college for illegals, wants a national smoking ban, and huge new taxes on beer, wine, liquor to pay for children's health care.

2. Too many people means the field's too crowded and many, many people are ignoring the debates until the field is culled down to a number small enough that they can follow a real debate between 3-4 candidates not limited to 60 second sound bites. Until then, a good number of Republicans think it is not yet time where they have to learn about all the distinctions between 9 candidates. They will focus when it's down to a managable number.

Another one? Media focus on just a few candidates on past biography and just a few issues.

1. Who has name recognition, who is a "Hero", who is most like Reagan, who will kick evildoer ass and stand with the troops. What religion they have.

2. Media was forced to cover immigration when the Amnesty Bill created a popular uprising..but then backed off that topic after McCain proudly stepped forth as the Leader of Open Borders, puffed his chest up, and took the fusillade. Open Borders fans like Rudy and Huckabee were saved because they were ignored as McCain was shot and bayoneted for foolishly camera-hogging with Teddy and Schumer and Bush on Amnesty.

A further explaination? Rudy has high integrity. I think his numbers are high with god, guns, abortion people because they know he will do as he says, and he has established social conservative bona fides:

1. You know he will tell off Ay-rabs, ferret-owners, mobsters, black thugs, corrupt Wall Streeters that don't donate to him, Christian-bashing artists & elites, Al Sharpton and Jesse simultaneously. He will express contempt for the Leftist Jews running the ACLU, homeless advocates who should get jobs, and contempt for Saudi princes. He will have watch over each cop's or soldier's back. He will keep taxes low, and disparage any professional victims group demanding money.

All that sits most excellently with most conservatives, many independents, and indeed, many Democrats that secretly wish for a strong person who will stand up to the moaners and whiners.

2. When Rudy says he will appoint strict constructionists in the mold of Scalia and Alito, most Republicans believe that is what he will do. Rudy sees going back on his word as a flaw of honor. There a judgment there is no risk he will backstab like a President McCain - who can not be trusted to hear of Steven's or Ginsburg's leaving the Court then stage a newsconference with his dear friends Teddy, Schumer, Lindsay (the Human Weasel) Graham, and Spector to announce in the interests of bipartisanship, he will do as his long-time Senate friends - appoint Lani Guinier or Barack Obama to the Court. So for anti-abortionists, as long as they believe Rudy will appoint strict constructionists - he is a better risk than McCain.

Rudy & Romney. Both have done turnarounds. Both are strong leaders. Both have flaws, but less than the other Republican candidates. Both have executive experience that beats any Democratic candidate. Rudy is more famous and "authentic", but Romney is smarter, has no health issues, and does not oppose the Repoublican Party's voters on any major issue.

We shall see. The sooner the race comes down to 3-4, preferably 2-3 Republicans, the easier it will be to truly compare the candidates.

The Democratic race got boring when Hillary showed Obama was an empty suit and drove Edwards into being a moveon.org panderer.

Rich B said...

Polls, blah, blah. That photo really does cry out for a caption contest - it's just so, suggestive.

Joe said...

I can't believe the most obvious explanation has been given (or repeated if I didn't read all the posts correctly):

Voters aware enough of who is running know Hillary Clinton is the leading democrat. Rudy is perceived as the only candidate who can beat Hillary.

(And there are plenty of Republican voters like myself whose believes pretty much align with Rudy's. Yes, he's kind of a wacko, but he's not an empty suit like Romney or Thompson or truly nuts like McCain. I didn't vote for Bush in 2004 because I liked him--he was an empty suit too--but because Kerry disgusted me.)

Revenant said...

There's no big mystery to these numbers. There is always a big difference between "would you vote for a candidate who believes X" and "would you vote for candidate Y (who believes X". For example, when asked "who would you vote for in 2008, a Democrat or a Republican" the unnamed Democrat trounces the unnamed Republican. When you ask "who would you rather vote for, Hillary or Rudy", you get a statistical tie. No mystery there -- people like Hillary less than a nameless Democratic ideal, and like Rudy more than the stereotypical Republican.

There's nothing surprising about people who would normally go "third party" rather than vote for a pro-choice Republican doing an about-face when the Republican in question is one they have other reasons to like.

cokaygne said...

Rudy trumps Romney on integrity. If you were at all familiar with NYC both before and after Rudy's election, you know that he is one politician (the only other one that comes to mind is Reagan) who will not give a rat's ass about what pundits will say. You also know that he really, really will back the troops; and you also know that thugs from squeegee men and turnstile jumpers on up to Kim and Osama ought to be very afraid.

The problem with Rudy, though, as Trooper York points out, is that he doesn't know when to stop. The institutions in this country, Congress, the courts, the media, that have the power to check the Presidency, have shown over and over that, just as they do not have to balls to take on terrorism, crime, or corruption, they do not have the balls to take on the president.

The dilemma of '08 may be that Hillary at best may be cut from the same cloth as Rudy, and at worst may be a paid-up charter member of the sleazeocrats.