Rudy's Last Stand: Florida or Bust?

The Guardian reports on Rudy's strategy of foregoing the early states to focus on Florida.

Shorter version: Rudy's last stand.

My take: A loss in Florida will be a body blow. But Tsunami Tuesday, with California, New York, New Jersey and others still count. Don't underestimate him and don't over-estimate McCain. Rudy still needs defeating. Ignoring him or dismissing him is not the right strategy. It's what he's hoping for, that while others see him as laying low in the weeds and stop paying attention, he's been making gains pounding the pavement in Florida with a ten day advantage over his rivals.

Will it work? Hopefully not. But it's not over yet. From the Guardian: [More...]

Such a message, combined with his promise to give voters 'the biggest tax cut in history', should be music to the ears of many Florida voters. The state has more than 20 military bases and many retired veterans. It also has a large population of former New Yorkers who think well of their former mayor and for whom 9/11 has an even deeper resonance than it does for other Americans.

...Experts think Giuliani could still win. Previous states have been defined by narrow bands of voters, such as evangelicals in Iowa and southern social conservatives in South Carolina. But that is not true of Florida. It is a diverse state with a large Hispanic population. It has big cities like Miami and Orlando, as well as a small-town culture in the north. It is full of retirees who have come from elsewhere and its evangelical base is small.

Rudy's biggest concern: Money.

His financial backers have also started to dry up. Though his campaign coffers contained about $7m at the start of the year, his daily spending on Florida's TV can top $300,000 a day. His top campaign staffers are now working for free.

Fears of terrorism have receded as the economy has tanked. But, one or two scares or pseudo-scares, particularly if publicity-enhanced, could change that.

Experts agree. All it needs is for Giuliani to win Florida and suddenly he will be the frontrunner going into Super Tuesday on 5 February. 'If he wins, the race will be transformed,' said MacManus.That is what Giuliani's band of Florida supporters are pinning their hopes on.

Let's not help him. Bloggers should continue to point out why Rudy should not be our President. I'll take half a dozen Huckabees or Romneys any day over Giuliani. As for McCain, I'm sorry, he's my grandfather's Oldsmobile and he thinks he can win this race based on an ancient record people love alongside a more recent record on immigration his people will hate.

I'd really like to be wrong on this one. Any thoughts on why it's already over for Rudy would be most welcome.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Don't Buy the Rudy Spin (none / 0) (#1)
    by BDB on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 01:16:26 AM EST
    He's done.  His poll numbers have cratered everywhere but Florida and they aren't as good as they once were there.

    I understand your fear - he'd be an absolutely terrible president.  But he's never going to be president.  I disagree he'd be a dangerous nominee.  The more he's campaigned, the further his poll numbers have collapsed.  There's no way he wins a general election.  

    I should say that Rudy's collapse is the first thing to give me any comfort in the intelligence of American or Republican voters.

    While I agree (none / 0) (#2)
    by illissius on Sun Jan 20, 2008 at 03:10:18 AM EST
    that Rudolph Giuliani as President would be absolutely terrifying, I'm starting to actually want him to pull it out in Florida and win the nomination. He's imploded so badly this campaign that he's regularly getting beaten out by Ron fricking Paul. The more money he threw at the early states and the more he campaigned in them, the faster his support collapsed! If he repeats that feat in the general,the Democratic margin of victory will be historic.

    Rudy is the emptiest suit running. He and McCain are both "national security" candidates, which is bad for Democrats, but unlike McCain, who has a legitimate claim to that mantle, all Rudy has is 9/11-mongering. And to top it all off, the whole 9/11 hero thing for him is a myth! If it hasn't worked with the fear-addled Republican base, why would it work better on the general populace? Plus, Giuliani isn't a media darling like McCain is.

    And BTW, McCain currently has a lead in the Feb 5 polls (overtaking Rudy, whose support has - yep - collapsed), so after winning SC, I could see certainly see him winning then. None of the Republican candidates have enough money to fully compete on Feb 5 (which is hilarious in a way), other than maybe Romney. I think it's a Romney vs. McCain race now, with outside shots for Huckabee and Giuliani.

    I used to be terrified of the prospect of Giuliani, but now, I'm much less so.