Opinion: It’s Giuliani in a landslide


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Unfortunately for Rudy Giuliani, the votes don’t count. But the results of a ‘straw poll’ conducted by the Monterey County Republican Party at the state party convention in Indian Wells this weekend is interesting, given the challenge Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued Friday night about moving closer to the political center.

As the Monterey County party painted it, 208 of the 600 convention delegates cast votes through 1 p.m. Saturday, and Giuliani walked away with it. The former New York City mayor -- whose multiple marriages and moderate views on gay marriage and abortion conflict with the beliefs of social conservatives -- won 63% of the vote, to former actor and U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson‘s 17% and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney‘s 10%. Sen. John McCain, the next highest vote-getter, picked up less than 3%.

The results are interesting given that the common perception of the party activists is that they are primarily social conservatives. Again, nothing of weight here, other than ...

a momentary and interesting snapshot into the soul of the party faithful.

One delegate, Jim Hamilton of Brawley, described himself as a conservative supporter of U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, though he said he doubted his candidate would win. But he said he also thought the party needed to look to compromise if it wanted to win broader elections. So, he said, fellow conservatives might have to look to less-palatable Republicans if they hope to win, adopting what he described as an old Democratic axiom about electing candidates out of step with the party platform: ‘He might be a SOB, but he’s our SOB.’


-- Scott Martelle