This news may be more appropriate for my Bloggers for Rudy platform, but I think it goes a long way towards explaining why Giuliani is so popular in Pennsylvania.
Here are the results of a Wall Street Journal poll on what matters to GOP voters: The question asked was “Let me list some issues that have been proposed for the federal government to address. Please tell me which one of these items you think should be the top priority for the federal government.”
|Top Priority (6/07)|
|The war in Iraq||24|
|Job creation and economic growth||9|
|Energy and the cost of gas||7|
|The environment and global warming||3|
|Reducing the federal budget deficit||5|
Now, we all know huge swaths of Pennsylvania– swaths I adore, mind you– more resemble Wyoming than what people think of as the Northeastern US. But most of the voters are in more developed parts of the state.
There are a number of issues you DON’T see as
self-selected priorities in that poll: Stem cells, abortion, gun control, gay marriage, etc. To be charitable, many republicans of a libertarian stripe– or rich, urban business people– don’t feel all that strongly about these “social” issues.
These same issues are also seen as Giuliani’s Achilles heel.
But, as reflected in poll after poll, PA republicans don’t care much about those things, and they definitely don’t care as much when they believe the War on Terror is a real war that needs to be won. Not some bogeyman born in Leo Strauss’ lab for Karl Rove to use to make money for Halliburton on the backs of poor suckers tricked into joining the Army.
More importantly, even most social conservatives don’t care as much about these issues in this situation.* They know that Abdullah really does want to kill Westerners to effect the coming of the 13th Imam who will bring us all sharia law as enforced by the world Caliphate. In fact, Evangelical Christians understand this better than most of the elite in this country. Evangelicals know about the book of Revelation. They accept stories about the Rapture. The opposing radical Islamic view fits nicely into their eschatology. The editors of the New York Times, though, can’t believe that Muslims really think such things because it all seems so preposterous to them.
This explains why Giuliani is popular in Pennsylvania: Most of PA’s republicans are of the more libertarian, urbane type. They don’t feel strongly about social issues. Furthermore, PA’s rural republicans are like social conservatives elsewhere, in that they will stop placing stem cell research top of mind as soon as they can be sure they are not likely to see the missus forced into a burkha.*
It also explains why pundits seem perpetually confused about Hizzoner’s popularity: They find it absurd to imagine people really think congregants in the Religion of Peace want to kill heretics, and denigrate women to virtual slavery.
* I do note in passing that in Pennsylvania specifically I would expect gun-control to place higher than it does nationally. But it sure didn’t seem to cause a hitch in Casey’s giddyup, recently, did it?