NBC political reporter Mark Murray:
A year ago, few could have predicted that the three front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination would be a U.S. senator who favors embryonic stem cell research and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, a governor who twice campaigned on defending abortion rights, and a former mayor who not only supports gay rights but moved in with a gay couple ... after the breakup of his second marriage.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani have emerged as [Republican] presidential favorites, according to public polls, GOP insiders, and Washington pundits.
... "Right now, we're very concerned about it," says Paul Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the conservative Free Congress Foundation. Adds Charmaine Yoest, vice president for communications at the Family Research Council, "There is a certain lack of excitement at the moment."
... "I think Rudy Giuliani should run against Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary," [Yoest] says. "The Republican base, the conservative base is not going to go for somebody like [him]."