Ever since top-tier Christian Right leaders floated a plan to coalesce behind a third party candidate in the event that socially liberal Rudy Giuliani is the GOP nominee, God-o-Meter has been wondering: with all the talk of the declining influence of graying Christian Right titans like James Dobson, how much teeth does that threat really have? Will in-the-pews evangelicals and other conservative rank-and-file Christians follow the decrees of the political activists who purport to speak for them? A new Rasumussen poll suggests that many would.

The poll found that 27-percent of GOP voters say they’d support a third party candidate over Giuliani if the that candidate is backed by “Christian conservative leaders.” That would seem a death blow for Giuliani in the general election match-up, when, according to the poll, Hillary Clinton would take 46-percent of the vote, Giuliani would get 30-percent, and the third-party option would pick up 14-percent.
Rasumussen warns that early polls tend to exaggerate the eventual popularity of third party candidates. Still, in a close national election–and God-o-Meter realizes we haven’t seen one of those since 2004 and, before that, 2000–even a much smaller defection of pro-life voters could make it a lot easier for Clinton, or any other Democrat, to cruise to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.


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