Rudy Giuliani is an unconventional candidate; a Republican who supports a woman’s right to an abortion, gun control measures, and gay rights. He is a Republican who sees the merits in educating undocumented immigrants and the damage that would be done with kicking them out of schools. These views, and his ability to support initiatives from the other side of the aisle is why many people feel he is the most electable Republican in the 2008 general election.
However, his unconventional style in campaigning for the Republican nomination may stop him short of the general election. Click more to read why.
Giuliani is, compared to his competitors, relatively ignoring the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to focus on the so-called “National Primary” on February 5th.
The polls in these early states are backing up his strategy. He trails by 13 pts. in Iowa, 15 pts. in New Hampshire, and 4 pts. in South Carolina. Giuliani’s campaign explains that with the calender being so heavily weighted with states on Feb. 5th (21 states), he will be able to bounce back from three possible losses in the, historically, most important nominating states.
History seems to paint another picture. Since 1976, 7 of the 8 eventual Republican nominees won the Iowa caucus. Over the same time period in New Hampshire, 6 of the 8 eventual presidential nominees were winners. Since South Carolina’s primary was conceived in 1980, no candidate has ever lost there and gone on to become the nominee.
Also, in the latest South Carolina poll, Fred Thompson was running just a percentage point behind Giuliani, and with his support waning across the country, Giuliani should not expect to pick up any of Thompson’s old support because of the major policy differences between the two, namely on gun rights and abortion. Thompson has recently picked up key Right to Life endorsements and publicly condemned Giuliani’s gun control stances.
Giuliani’s campaign states that many February 5th states are “momentum proof,” meaning that the winner of the three earliest states, and polls indicate this will be Mitt Romney, will not gain enough or any momentum to upset Giuliani’s current leads.
I do not agree. With Iowa’s caucus being held January 3rd, New Hampshire’s primary occurring January 8th, and South Carolina’s primary happening January 19th, there are 2-4 weeks of campaigning and commentating about Giuliani’s loses and competitor’s victories. Many voters have been swayed by these early states in the past, and the “national primary” style of calendar just indicates that the nation will be swayed at the same time. This strategy is extremely risky for the Giuliani campaign.
Will Giuliani be able to defy conventional wisdom again, as he has done throughout his political career, or will he fall short of the Republican nomination because the new and untested strategy he has brought to the Republican nomination? I’d like to hear what you have to think.