York on Southern Fried Rudy
Ryan Sager isn't the only one paying attention to this. Byron York was down in South Carolina too. His piece is pretty fair considering the fact he's been outright dismissive of Giuliani's chances in the past.
Like Sager, York tries to drill down on exactly how much resistance Giuliani can expect on the social issues front. He notices that right now it's a lot less than you would expect.
But regardless of whether or not this is right, I think we'll have to take this assessment to heart:
There’s no doubt that some South Carolina voters agree wholeheartedly. But how many? There are no solid numbers, but Smith — along with several other political observers — believes the group is pretty big. “If you were to say, What percentage of South Carolina voters are value voters, that would probably be as high as 70 percent,” Smith says. “But as far as those who see some of these issues as disqualifiers, I think that number would be in the 40 to 50 percent range. I don’t think you can say that the number of people who are motivated even partially by social issues falls below 40 percent.”
In the interests of being realistic, if you had to rank states in terms of the influence of values voters, South Carolina would be in the top 5. Rudy doesn't need to win in South Carolina, but he does need to be competitive, and his popularity with the maybe 60% of voters who aren't solely motivated by values issues keeps him in the hunt.