The former mayor of New York was on top of last month's national Gallup poll measuring presidential preferences by registered Republicans, with 29 percent. Sen. John McCain's 24 percent was second, with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich third at 8 percent. National polls all year have shown Giuliani running either first or second to McCain, with the rest of the presidential possibilities far behind.
Realistically, Guiliani doesn't have a chance of winning the nomination. It will, however, be beneficial to the party to have a candidate in the race who is pro gay rights and pro choice. Novak says he'll have to change his position on one of these issues if he wants to win. Novak writes:
Republican insiders respond to these numbers by saying rank-and-file GOP voters will abandon Giuliani once they realize his position on abortion, gay rights and gun control. Party strategists calculate that if he actually runs, he must change on at least one of these issues.
Actually, there is little reason for Guiliani to modify his view on any of these issues. Everyone else likely to enter the race will be running in lock step on these cultural wedge issues. Standing apart from the other candidates will be his greatest asset.