New Gallup Pollage: Rudy Motivates the Most Republicans

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There’s a new Gallup poll out.  Check it here.

Rudy is the favored GOP candidate nationally.  By a lot.  Of course, we’re used to that.  But let me tell you what is more interesting about this particular poll

Recently there has been some hyperventilating about the possibility of social conservatives potentially deserting the GOP for a third party if they are unhappy with the nominee.  Or, perhaps more likely, deciding to stay home.

First, please note the story line has now changed from “Rudy can’t win the GOP nomination because of social issues” to a presumption that it is entirely likely a candidate that is not Gary Bauer’s first choice will secure the nomination.

Well, as I always advise, let’s look at actual data.  Shall we?

In that Gallup poll 411 voters that are registered republicans or independents than lean towards the GOP were asked about how they would respond to particular hypothetical nominees in a general election.

Vote for enthusiastic-ally Vote for, mainly against the Democrat Vote for the Democrat Stay home, not vote No opinion
Rudy Giuliani 51 27 6 9 8
John McCain 38 37 5 10 10
Fred Thompson 37 30 5 11 17
Mitt Romney 25 38 9 13 17

So can we now please start putting to rest the canard that the GOP grassroots won’t support Giuliani in a general election?  Hizzoner has– by far– the highest “vote for enthusiastically” score, and the lowest (both individually and combined) scores for “stay at home” and “not vote”.

Of course, I imagine none of this is going to persuade Ramesh Ponnuru to throw in with Team Rudy, but I would like to hear what he makes of the data.  Is the GOP not particularly socially conservative?  Is the voting power of that faction in the GOP diffused?  Are there more socially conservative voters supporting Mayor Giuliani than we imagine?  I ask about Mr. Ponnuru specifically, as he is the most eloquent and polite spokesman for the social right I know.

UPDATE

Mr. Ponnuru actually did respond to my questions above here not long after this post, although he was responding to someone else’s e-mail.

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