Widespread perceptions that Giuliani is the most electable Republican in this year's field are driving his support among social conservatives, according to the analysis by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
If the trend holds, this apparent willingness to support a candidate who fails what were once regarded as litmus-test issues would mark a landmark shift in the political behavior of a constituency that has been a pillar of the modern GOP. Already the shift is spurring sharp debate among prominent Christian conservative leaders, some of whom warn that Giuliani backers are abandoning core principles.
If Fred Thompson enters the race, this could change very quickly. But the more significant thing is that it seems Romney's desperate efforts to reinvent himself have failed completely.
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