Hillary and Rudy will be most affected by public reaction to these social issues.
The double whammy of the Supreme Court decision on partial-birth abortion combined with questions about how the Virginia Tech campus shooter got his gun will propel the social issues of abortion and gun control back to the top of the agenda in the presidential race. In both cases, the likely beneficiary will be Hillary Clinton and the loser will be Rudy Giuliani. Hillary, who Gallup has sagging in popularity (down 45-52), clearly needs a shot in the arm. The partial-birth abortion decision will cause women to rally to her candidacy if she exploits it properly. For Rudy, the news is less good. As a moderate trying to make it in the Republican primary, nothing could be worse than an increase in focus on the issues of abortion and guns. While his pro-choice and pro-gun-control record will resonate well with the general electorate, it is anathema to the hardened party base. All of this could stimulate an entry into the race by Fred Thompson, whose positions on guns and abortion are more in line with right-wing views.