by user Pmichael

After the beating the Republicans took last November and with an unpopular war still claiming the lives of American servicemen, at first glance the Republicans wouldn't seem to stand much chance of keeping the White House in 2008. Voters are rarely kind to political parties that preside over a poorly managed war. For quite some time, the American public when polled has indicated it doesn't like the direction the country is headed. And George W. Bush's approval ratings are embarrassing and have been for an extended period of time which is seemingly another harbinger of a tough road ahead for Republicans in 2008. With all this, the idea of a Republican winning the White House in 2008 would normally seem preposterous. But the presence of Rudolph Giuliani as a candidate brightens the prospects dramatically.

With Iraq grabbing the daily headlines, it might not be noticed that Giuliani has separated himself from McCain and the rest of his competitors. In a recent poll, Giuliani is favored by Republicans 50% to 29% over his most serious rival. When other candidates are thrown into the mix, Giuliani still leads McCain by over fifteen points. While McCain still has devotees, his stock appears to be falling. Seven years removed from McCain's spirited challenge to George W. Bush, there are those who are beginning to question whether McCain's time has passed.

In a general election, Giuliani would be a formidable candidate. Against Hillary Clinton or any other Democratic potential nominee, Giuliani has the looks of a winner. In a race featuring Giuliani as the Republican nominee, the very blue state of NY would not be out of reach for the GOP in 2008. States like NJ and Pennsylvania also look like they could fall into the Republican column. And if that were to happen, the Democratic candidate wouldn't stand a chance. While the Republicans may choose to ignore this, it is pretty clear right now Giuliani represents the best chance for a Republican victory in November 2008. If Republicans coalesce around the idea Giuliani gives them the best chance to win in 2008, they'll likely ignore his moderate social positions and make him the nominee. In other words, I'd expect the Republicans to pick pragmatism over ideological purity.

There are many Democrats who assume victory will be theirs in 2008. This is certainly reasonable if one just considers the current political climate. The reeling Republicans are still licking their wounds from the 2006 mid term elections, and bad news from Iraq continues to make life miserable for Republicans. Everything points to a Democratic victory in 2008, except that the Republicans appear to have the most appealing candidate. And since Giuliani isn't viewed by the public to be too closely aligned with the discredited Bush administration, he may not be hurt all that much by the recent Republican troubles. As things look now, if Giuliani makes it through the Republican nominating process, he'll be tough to beat.

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