Exactly right IMHO. It's entirely possible that this next election will be decided in the primaries, and the November election will be just a pro forma exercise.
If any of the top rank GOP candidates other than Thompson is nominated there will be a falling away of some degree by social/religious conservatives that will seriously threaten the Republican nominee. But if Rudy is nominated, no matter who the Democrat nominee may be there will be an open revolt by religious right voters and the Democrat will win. With the electorate as evenly divided as it has been in the last two elections, the loss of even a small part of a significant voting bloc such as the social conservative wing of the GOP would mean losing the election.
I am repulsed by the very thought of Hillary in the White House again, but if the rapidly developing leftward slide of the Republican party is not stopped here and now we will in effect have a one party system within one or two more election cycles. There will still be two competing party labels and two separate organizations of course, but the philosophical dividing line will be so lightly drawn that it will be virtually invisible. I would rather suffer through another 4 long and painful years with a Clinton as president than to see that happen, therefore I will not vote for Rudy if the primary voters are stupid enough to nominate him.
If you put your hand into the fire you will be burned. If you immerse yourself for hours with no source of air you will drown. If the Republican Party nominates a liberal candidate it will probably lose and Rudy is a liberal candidate.
These are facts of life. There’s no point in arguing about them. You can raise the specter of Hillary as President and promise an entire parade of horribles. It won’t make any difference. A large number of voters who might vote for a normal Republican won’t vote for Rudy and they are impervious to argument. He is therefore as weak as any candidate the Party is likely to choose. This is reality. You can turn you back on it if you chose, but if you do it will bite you in the butt.