Some pro-lifers and social conservatives will support him, either on a "better than the Democrats" theory or a "the war is more important theory.
With respect to the latter, a factor for its' primacy would necessarily have to be an acceptance of the argument that Giuliani is functionally pro-life in light of his recent statement that if eleced President, he would nominate Supreme Court justices like Saclia, Roberts and Alito. Giuliani has also subtly suggested that he thinks Roe v. Wade was bad law and should be reversed.
That Giuliani is functionally pro-life is an intriguing concept. Whether this would enough for me to consider supporting him should he win the nomination is something I'm still working through.
With all due respect, I think that inferring that Giuliani is functionally pro-life on the basis of single statement is rather dubious. I also don't think that his statement is nearly as declarative as some seem to think it is since you can like Scalia, Roberts, and Alito without supporting overturning Roe. I also think that the claims about his willingness to adhere to the Hyde amendment are equally ambiguous - he supports it because it's the law, but what does he intend to do if there is a serious effort to overturn it?
One of the major reasons that I remain extremely wary about Giuliani is that he has never seriously engaged his differences with social conservatives and explained how he is going to address them should he win the nomination. He has either acknowledged that they exist in the passing and then move on to friendlier topics or he has simply ignored that they exist altogether. That may be good politics but it isn't a compelling reason to vote for him. I would also add that I believe that it is in part because many of his supporters on the right are so insistent that he is going to win regardless of his social views that has kept him from moderating his views in this regard.
The idea that Giuliani is functionally pro-life honestly strikes as an exercise in counter-factualism: his entire record as mayor and most of his public statements since leaving office state exactly the opposite. His more ambiguous remarks that suggest otherwise have to be compared to the vast body of explicit comments to the contrary and I think that the vast majority of the evidence suggests that he has neither moderated his views nor does he have any intention of doing so. This is what distinguishes him heavily from Romney in my opinion, since Romney has explicitly stated that he changed his mind on these subjects and now intends to pursue alternative policies.
Paul Zummo then writes:
The only hope that pro-lifers have with regards to Rudy is that though he is pro-choice, appointing pro-choice justices will not be a priority for him. That's the critical difference between him and any of the Democrats running. Knowing what I do know of his overall philosophy, betting that he would appoint originalist judges is a good bet.
But is that a bet we should be forced to make? That's the question that hopefully we won't have to answer in the end.
He may well appoint originalist judges (though I myself am somewhat skeptical of this), but I think that the scenario that Josiah sketches out is far more likely:
Some pro-lifers and social conservatives will support him, either on a "better than the Democrats" theory or a "the war is more important theory. Others will not, and will mount some sort of third party challenge ala Perot. Those who do go along will be regarded as traitors by those who don't, who will regard them as unrealistic fanatics in turn. The pro-life movement will be split, and the resulting recriminations will prevent it from being effective for decades.
As for the GOP, the only way Rudy wins in the general is if he pulls enough support from moderates and independants to make up for what he loses from social conservatives. Given the unpopularity of the war, the only way this will happen is if Rudy turns out to be a lot less conservative on foreign policy than people think. If he does win, though, it'll be the last election the GOP wins for awhile, as a GOP that canl no longer claim the pro-life banner will soon the reduced to the minority status it had before it became identified with pro-life politics.
I don't think that this is inevitable and would argue that pro-lifers should make plans now on how to deal with the prospect of a Giuliani victory that doesn't involve either a reversal of positions or political irrelevance, but I do think that it is an extremely likely scenario. All of the pundits who believe that Giuliani is going to achieve victory by basically ignoring the force that most pundits agree propelled the GOP to victory in 2004 are, I think, going to be in for a harsh surprise on election day. One of the reasons that I regard the rise of Giuliani as so amazing (and disturbing) is the number of conservative pundits who appear to be willing to ignore his fundamental policy differences with them on every issue ranging from immigration to gun control to abortion in order to support him. Is this simply because he "feels conservative" as David Frum puts it? If that is the case, then I will stand by descriptive of this support as being indicative of a cult of personality.