Tuesday, January 22, 2008


From The Times
January 22, 2008
Rudolph Giuliani falters as high-stakes gamble fails to deliver
James Bone in New York

Rudolph Giuliani’s high-risk strategy to win the Republican presidential nomination appeared to be faltering yesterday as new polls put him in third place in Florida and behind in his home state of New York.

The former Mayor of New York has spent the past 49 days campaigning in Florida in a make-or-break bid to win next Tuesday’s Republican primary in the state. His high-stakes gamble is that, despite sitting out early contests, a win in Florida will propel him to the front of the Republican field before the “Super Tuesday” primaries on February 5 when 22 states decide.
The latest Florida poll showed Mr Giuliani lagging behind early primary winners Mitt Romney and John McCain. The Rasmussen Reports telephone survey gave Mr Romney 25 per cent compared with Mr McCain’s 20 per cent and Mr Giuliani’s 19 per cent.
“It was a long shot to begin with and I think a mistake,” Lance de Haven-Smith, a politics professor at Florida State University, said of Mr Giuliani’s Florida-focused strategy.

“Florida is a media state. People get all their news from TV. For literally months they have been hearing how Giuliani is not winning anything. I think he underestimated the amount that would hurt him. It’s not retail politics. He did not realise you cannot just come here and walk around Florida. You have to be on the air.”

Mr Giuliani’s challenge was made even clearer by two other polls that found he had been overtaken by Mr McCain among Republicans in his home state of New York.
A WNBC/Marist poll in New York showed that 34 per cent of registered Republicans support Mr McCain, compared with 23 per cent for Mr Giuliani. Among Republicans likely to vote Mr McCain kept his 34 per cent support. Mr Giuliani was tied in second place with Mr Romney at 19 per cent.

Another poll by Siena College showed a 12-point deficit – 36 to 24 per cent. Steven Greenberg, of Siena College, called the latest numbers “a stunning turnaround” from the former New York mayor’s 33-point lead over the Arizona senator in the state in December.
Mr Giuliani’s appeal as “America’s mayor” for his leadership in New York after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks has faded as voters grow increasingly concerned about the economy – considered one of Mr Romney’s strengths.

Mr Giuliani has retooled his campaign, promising what he calls economic security. “I think the two biggest things that a president can offer is economic security and national security,” he said yesterday at a campaign event in Orlando, Florida.

Mr McCain arrived in Florida with strong momentum after his wins in New Hampshire and South Carolina – a state that has picked every Republican nominee since Ronald Reagan in 1980.
Mr McCain told new conference: “If someone hasn’t run a primary, I can understand why they would attack the front-runner.”

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