I think Phil’s right that the conventional wisdom on Giuliani is changing. Unless Mitt Romney or some other candidate emerges as a viable conservative alternative to the front-runners, I think we could see an interesting dynamic in the 2008 Republican presidential race: John McCain could become the candidate of single-issue voters on abortion, guns, and gay marriage.
Or we could see economic and social conservatives back different candidates. There is a credible case to be made that Giuliani is to McCain’s right on fiscal policy while McCain is to Giuliani’s right on social issues. This match-up would be unsatisfying to conservative activists for all sorts of reasons, but the vast goodwill McCain and post-9/11 Giuliani have built up with the electorate may make it happen anyway.
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