The other campaigns can’t be too happy that, in the end, a Peter Hart-run focus group, described here and here, and discussed here by Michael Barone, was offered a choice only between Rudy Giuliani and Fred Thompson.
Actually, from their point of view, two pieces of good news seem to come out of the group. These Republicans seem to be moved relatively easily off their initial preferences for Giuliani, even toward someone who has made as little an impression as Thompson has. Giuliani’s front-runner status might be very tenuous. And second, everyone’s support seems to be soft. There could well be lots of movement between now and the elections.
The eventual nominess, whoever he is, can perhaps console himself with the thought that the one passion Republican voters have is directed against Hillary Clinton. In this respect, the 2008 Republican season resembles its 2004 Democratic counterpart. Is Rudy Giuliani Howard Dean or John Kerry, the early favorite or the eventual nominee, carried more by illusions of electability than by any real affection?