With Giuliani In It To Win It, Don't Be Surprised If He Does

Mayor Giuliani said Tuesday he'll compete in the Iowa Republican presidential caucuses, and he actually stands a fair chance of winning them, despite the chatter he's too liberal on social issues for the party's religious conservatives. …

A new poll of likely Republican caucus-goers released Wednesday indicates that is a doable proposition. The survey taken March 30 to April 1 by Strategic Vision … shows Giuliani leading the pack of GOP presidential candidates in the state …

The poll of 600 likely GOP caucus-goers has him leading with 25 percent of the vote and John McCain in second with 20 percent.

For months now, conventional wisdom has said Giuliani would fade … That hasn't happened, and it raises the possibility that many social conservatives are looking at other things or character traits as they choose a candidate to back in 2008.

The nation is at war. We are selecting the first new president after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and those two facts change the issues that are foremost in voters' minds. …

Ted Sporer, the Polk County Republican chairman, who is neutral in the 2008 presidential race, said …

"Giuliani will compete here and will do very well. He will be one of the high finishers in Iowa, barring something unforseen."

Diane Crookham-Johnson, a GOP leader from Oskaloosa … said, "Giuliani has struck a chord with people in Iowa. There are issues beyond social issues that people are concerned about, and they see some of those in him. They see his approach to crime in New York and taxes. I hear people say he really is a Republican on those issues." …

He may win. But it should no longer be a surprise.

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