Matt Continetti says no, and the case seems pretty straightforward: Giuliani does, in theory, keep a number of purple states and possibly some blue states competitive. Thomas Edsall made a convincing case that a Giuliani-led GOP would unite around potent right-wing nationalism.
But what if a Giuliani nomination causes turmoil within the base and a Democrat narrowly wins all the same? The recriminations would likely last for decades. It’s thus by no means obvious that a short-term Giuliani win wouldn’t work very well for the Democrats, particularly as they try to recast themselves as a national party. That’s leaving aside the looming Placa-Carbonetti-Kerik questions that would inevitably come to the fore in a general election fight.
Smart observers have noted that Fred Thompson would be an acceptable losing candidate for Republicans, one who would keep the coalition intact. One wonders what would have happened if George W. Bush had lost in 2000 (or rather, had he failed to win the struggle over the Florida recount). Would he be condemned for his departures from ideological purity? Or would his defeat rightly be seen as a lost opportunity to nominate McCain and reinvent the Republican coalition? It’s impossible to tell.