While it is enticing to imagine that the US Republicans will choose the boy from Hope, Mike Huckabee, as their candidate (as Today suggested this morning), he's going to need a great deal of hope to get him from 5 points (in the latest poll of Republican voters), to beat Guiliani who is currently on 31 points, 14 points ahead of his nearest challenger.
Today featured interviews from a Right-wing Evangelist conference which highlighted deep distrust of Guiliani (pro-choice, anti-gun, pro-Gay) and much cheering for Mike Huckabee (polar opposite on those issues).
From the point of view of having a hope of winning the Presidential Election, the Republicans would be insane not to choose Guiliani. Today say he is "faltering" because of the right-wingers lack of enthusiasm for him. That may be so, but it takes an awful lot of faltering to go from 31 per cent and be over-taken by someone currently on 5 points. (By the way, Fred Thompson, Guiliani's current nearest challenger, has a pro-choice voting past even though he is now "posturing to win the pro-life vote").
Stranger things have happened (and I still have a receipt from Stan James with a tenner on Huckabee in case it does!) but it is more likely that the Right-wing Evangelists will float off to an independent candidate. A sort of Pat Robertson character would be ideal for them. He or she would have no hope of getting elected, of course, and they would probably let in Hilary instead.
So, the poor old right-wing Evangelists are in a bit of a bind, bless them. They've had George W for eight years (although he, of course, is pro-choice) - so it looks as though they will go from feast to famine and have to hold their noses and vote for Rudy. That will certainly be entertaining. I suppose it is more likely that they will stay at home, possibly letting in Hilary. That would also be entertaining.