OCTOBER 20, 2007
I spent a few a few hours at the Hilton Washington today chatting up values voters as they waited in line at the event's straw poll. Some thoughts after interviewing roughly 25 people:
1.) My informal survey produced 11 people who were explicitly pro-Romney, 5 who were explicitly pro-Giuliani, 2 who were explicitly anti-Romney, and 11 who were explicitly anti-Giuliani. (There's some overlap there--some people who were pro-Romney were also anti-Giuliani, and vice versa, though some liked or disliked both men.)
2.) Most people liked and respected Fred Thompson. But, as Crowley suggested, no one seemed to take him seriously as a presidential candidate. "Fred's a good guy. But we need someone as committed as we are," said one woman here from Tennessee with her husband.
3.) Most people seemed very pragmatic, contrary to what you might expect. Just about everyone raved about Mike Huckabee. But, when I asked who they were supporting, probably half said either Romney or, to a lesser extent, Giuliani. (For the record, I also got one or two McCains.) Perhaps more importantly, I didn't talk to a single person who said "no" when I asked if they could support Giuliani if he were the GOP nominee. Most took the question as their cue to vent about Hillary Clinton. (Most also had trouble articulating what it was they so disliked about her. The only specific answers I got were her pro-government views--"she's a socialist," one man told me--and her sense of entitlement.)