I would be lying to say I didn’t find poll results like this a little disconcerting: “More than half of GOP evangelicals might consider third-party candidate” if the Republicans nominate Giuliani for President. Except when you look at it closely, it doesn’t really say that much. If you threw a party and ordered food based on the number who said they might consider attending, you very well could end up begging guests to take large portions of the leftovers home, or end up putting a lot in the freezer afterwards.
Perhaps a more meaningful headline would have read: “Nearly half of GOP evangelicals won’t even consider bolting the party, regardless of nominee.” That’s debatable, I suppose.
Regardless, short of a real and specific third-party conservative candidate tested in the survey, the results are essentially meaningless. Some may say continuing to tout such fluff in the headlines could be part of a well-coordinated liberal media agenda to stir up discontent and dissension among their political rivals. I might consider accepting that possibility, but usually dismiss the conspiracy claptrap for what it is.
Nevertheless, recent hypothetical Hillary-vs-Rudy polls show a little momentum on the former New York mayor’s side and the race within the margin of error. You never know, influential and powerful friends of presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton might consider creative ways of bringing down probably her most threatening potential Republican rival.
As an evangelical Christian who happens to be a Republican, I can tell you I haven’t talked to anyone in these circles say yet that they would jump ship because of Rudy. Then again, politics doesn’t come up a lot in my real-world conversations during an off-election year. It’s pretty safe to assume that this observation can be extrapolated to the broader population, considering how few people obsess over daily political events or even have given serious thought to which candidate should earn their support.
Most of us political wonk-types therefore might consider the possibility that there isn’t a lot of meaning to any of these polls at this point … But then what would we write about?