romneymccain.jpgliebermanmccain.jpgOn the eve of John McCain’s running mate announcement, a new Washington Post poll shows the trouble pro-choice running mate would bring:

Choosing Lieberman or someone else who supports abortion rights, such as former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge, would be risky for a candidate who has worked hard to rally conservatives to his side, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The survey indicates that 20 percent of McCain’s supporters would be less likely to vote for him if he selects a running mate who supports abortion rights. In a recent interview, McCain told the conservative Weekly Standard that supporting abortion rights would not be an immediate disqualifier in his choice.

God-o-Meter is actually surprised that more McCain backers aren’t turned off by the prospect of a Joe Lieberman or Tom Ridge being one breath away from the Oval Office. Just 20 percent would be less likely to back him? Maybe the party has fewer rock ribbed social conservative than the media (GOM included) gives them credit for.
The other noteworthy takeaway from the poll: of all the potential veeps polled, Mitt Romney helps most–and hurts most:

Of the six, Romney would generate the largest following — 20 percent say adding the former Massachusetts governor would make them more likely to support McCain. But nearly as many — 16 percent — said they would be less apt to vote GOP with Romney on the ticket.

With the speculation centering on Romney as McCain’s pick, that statistic could become very important these next couple months. GOM has to believe that the 16-percent opposition is mostly Christian conservatives opposed to Romney because of his Mormon faith.
Does that mean running mate Romney would revive his primary season effort to court social conservatives, against the odds? Or does he run as the middle of the road Republican that he was as Governor of Massachusetts? The first strategy failed the first time around, when evangelicals flocked to Mike Huckabee in droves. The second would force Romney to give himself yet another ideological facelift.


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