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Third Party Threat From Christian Conservatives

It turns out some Christian conservatives are not too fond of a Giuliani candidacy on the Republicans ticket. At a networking meeting in Salt Lake City for the Council of National Policy, a group of Christian conservatives floated the idea of running a third Party candidate should Giuliani win the Republican nomination. It is a certain blow to Giuliani who has fought hard to keep his moderate to liberal stance on social issues in the back seat while pushing his strength on national security, the war on terrorism and his ability to beat Hillary Clinton (which does not seem to be a reality).

Some players in the movement not present at the meeting may be open to Mr. Giuliani as the lesser of two evils. For example, the Christian Broadcast Network, founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson, has provided relatively generous coverage to Mr. Giuliani and his campaign.

Gary L. Bauer, a Christian conservative political advocate who was a Republican primary candidate eight years ago, said that, speaking by phone to the meeting, he urged the group to proceed with caution. “I can’t think of a bigger disaster for social conservatives, defense conservatives and economic conservatives than Hillary Clinton in the White House,” Mr. Bauer said.

He added, “But I do believe there are certain core issues for the Republican Party — low taxes, strong defense and pro-life — and if we nominate someone who is hostile on one of those three things it will blow up the G.O.P.”

Congressman Pete Sessions, who supports Giuliani’s candidacy, responded:

“Conservatives are rallying around the one candidate with the executive experience and proven leadership our country needs.” Calling Mr. Giuliani strong on fighting terrorism and “fiscal discipline,” Mr. Sessions said Republicans want a candidate who “can beat the Democratic nominee.”

With Christian conservatives constituting a large portion of the Republican primary voters, this announcement could be a wake up call for Republicans in fear of a third Party candidate, which could pretty much guarantee the White House to the Democrats, cutting into Giuliani’s support. A viable Christian conservative candidate can easily pickup Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina giving them 38 electoral votes. All of those states are Republican strongholds. Only Georgia has voted for the Democratic candidate in recent memory when it voted for Bill Clinton in 1992.

Richardson Raises $5.2 Million

Bill Richardson is expected to raise about $5.2 million for the third quarter. It is slightly down form the second quarter and brings his total for the year at over $18 million.

“We continue to count contributions as they are coming in throughout the day, but this figure obviously separates us from the second-tier candidates and makes clear this is a four-person race,” Richardson’s campaign announced in a prepared statement.

Bill Richardson is still very much in contention with poll numbers in the teens in Iowa and New Hampshire. Nationally, however, he has not caught fire.

Daily Rasmussen: SC Primary

Here are today’s numbers from Rasmussen Reports.

National Primary

Republicans

Fred Thompson: 25%
Rudy Giuliani: 23%
Mitt Romney: 13%
John McCain: 10%
Mike Huckabee: 6%

I keep saying, if Republicans do not want to split the Party, nominate Huckabee.

Democrats

Hillary Clinton: 44%
Barack Obama: 22%
John Edwards: 15%

It has become clear the Democratic race has become a three person race. Whether any of the second tier candidates will be able to pull out a surprise showing in Iowa will determine if they continue beyond the caucus.

South Carolina Primary

Republicans

Fred Thompson: 24%
Rudy Giuliani: 20%
Mitt Romney: 15%
John McCain: 11%
Mike Huckabee: 3%

Democrats

Hillary Clinton: 43%
Barack Obama: 30%
John Edwards: 10%
Bill Richardson: 2%
Joe Biden: 2%
Dennis Kucinich: 2%

Head over here and here for more information of the results.

Obama Raises $19 Million for Primary ($20 Million Total)

Barack Obama has raised more than $19 million in primary funds during the third quarter and additional funds for the general election for a total of about $20 million.

Obama scored record numbers ending the quarter, receiving over half a million donations and 350,000 donors since he announced his candidacy for President.

“With over 350,000 donors and more than a half a million donations, Americans hungry for change know that Barack Obama is the candidate with the right experience to make that change happen,” said Penny Pritzker, Obama for America National Finance Chair. “Thanks to this unprecedented grassroots support, the Obama campaign will have the resources we need to win the nomination and the White House.”

“Many in Washington have spent the last weeks declaring that outcome of this race to be pre-ordained, and the primary process a mere formality,” said Obama for America Campaign Manager David Plouffe. “Yet, in this quarter alone, 93,000 more Americans joined our campaign, because they desire real change and believe Barack Obama is the one candidate who can deliver it. This grassroots movement for change will not be deterred by Washington conventional wisdom because in many ways it is built to challenge it.”

Obama has raised about $80 million in total for the year. About $75 million of that was raised for the primary. There is no word on the cash-on-hand numbers from the Obama campaign. If rumors turns into news, Obama is expected to have a higher burn rate than Clinton.