The Security Evangelicals?

Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News argues that Rudy Giuliani’s strength on national security may override concerns that evangelicals have about his liberal social views:

“The Republican Party’s staunchest supporters of the war on terrorism . . . may be motivated by a candidate they believe will protect them against terrorism. In particular, that could help Mr. Giuliani overcome the conventional wisdom that a GOP dominated by Christian conservatives won’t nominate a social liberal for president.

“‘The national security issues appeal to a number of evangelicals,’ said John Green, senior fellow at the Pew Forum for Religion and Public Life, who has long studied how religion motivates voters. ‘They are among the strongest supporters of the war in Iraq.'”

I think this reporter is sorely mistaken and that this is one instance in which the “conventional wisdom” is right on the mark. I think the “security evangelical” is a myth. I’m going to go out on a limb with a prediction. Here it is.

A pro-choice candidate cannot win the Republican primaries. The aversion to abortion among the Republican base is substantial, and Giuliani will not be able to overcome it. Moreover, even if Giuliani could scrape by in the primaries, a Republican cannot win the general election without the support of social conservatives (see the Ohio swing in 2004). Social conservatives will not support Rudy Giuliani. In my view, Giuliani’s candidacy is DOA.


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