Monday, January 21, 2008


No Love For Hometown Boy...

...from hometown folks.

Siena Poll has McCain surging ahead of Rudy Giuliani in New York.

It's still two weeks from Super Tuesday, but McCain shouldn't even be in the same zip code as Rudy, let alone leading him. But this tracks with other results in the tri-state area -- where Rudy should be strong. The Hartford Courant this weekend showed McCain beating Giuliani by more than 2-1. Given Joe Lieberman's strong endorsement of McCain, the lead shouldn't be a total surprise, but the margin is rather remarkable. At this point, Giuliani's best news seems to be in New Jersey where one poll had him comfortably ahead of McCain, while the other had him trailing. Things are really going poorly when a split decision is consisered progress.

Of course, the Giuliani strategy has been to base everything on Florida (next Tuesday) and then take advantage of the big states on Super Tuesday. However, it is looking increasingly likely that even if Giuliani wins Florida (an increasingly unlikely prospect), that his apparent dithering and embarassing string of lossess in all races thus run has only helped portray him as, well, a loser.

No one likes to back a loser. McCain, despite his still formidable problems with the base, has won two primaries (including the one that has proven the bellwhether for selecting every Republican nominee going back to 1980) and finished second in a third. Romney has wins in Wyoming, Nevada and Michigan. Huckabee has one solid win (whether there will be others is open to question). But, regardless of where these men actually place, they are all in the broader conversation -- because they've been "on the field" scrapping with one another. Giuliani keeps removing himself from the field, seeking more promising ground later on. Alas, in doing that, he leaves the field -- and the "debate" to his opponents. The once-frontrunner now gets even less Zeitgeist discussion than Ron Paul.

The Weekly Standard's Matthew Continetti, a journalist sympathetic to Giuliani's candidacy, contributed a rather sound analysis of what went wrong with America's Mayor's campaign.

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