ames has expressed concern, as have others, about a “civil war” between factions of the GOP depending on how the race is narrowed. In the interest of “comity” some GOP voters might start looking at a compromise, unifying candidate for the party. Another concern which has gotten less focus lately is electability. You can argue in a vacuum how each of the GOP contenders would match up against each Democrat but we do have lots of data at hand. If you’re interested in electability in November it is worth looking at head to head
poll match ups. Using RealClearPolitics averages and forgetting about the electoral college for a moment, McCain and Rudy to a lesser extent have the best electability arguments. Romney beats none of the top three Democrats ( he loses by a margin ranging from 4.8% to 16.5%). Huckabee also gets wiped out by margins from 4.8% to 14.3%. Thompson likewise loses by amounts ranging from 7.5 to 13.3%. Rudy does much better although he still loses to all three ( a margin between 1.8% to 5.7%). McCain? He beats Hillary, is tied with Obama and loses to Edwards by 3.7%. Now we of course DO have an electoral college and Rudy’s ability to put in play Connecticut, New Jersey, Oregon and Washington and make the Democrats spend money in other states has been a key part of his pitch. However, based on what we know now there is some indication that David Brooks
was right about his concern over a Romney nomination and that Thompson and Huckabee also would have a steep hill to climb.