Monday, November 12, 2007

Rudy's Nomination "Strategery"

Tom Bevan from Real Clear Politics and Byron York from National Review both have written pieces on Rudy's Nomination "Strategery," showing how the Giuliani campaign is putting more emphasis on the states holding primaries on February 5th, the new "Super Tuesday," rather than early primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire. Over a month ago, I wrote a post showing the number of delegates Rudy is projected to have, based on the polling data out there at the time, as of February 5th, with Rudy handily leading the pack. Obviously some numbers have changed, including the delegate counts of some states which are being penalized by the RNC for holding their primaries before Feb. 5th. For example, Florida, New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, and Wyoming will each lose half of their delegates to the national convention because of this.

Overall, though, Rudy is still holding strong in crucial and delegate-rich Super Tuesday states, including New York (101), California (178), New Jersey (52), Connecticut (30), and Delaware (18). As for early primary states, Rudy has a huge lead in Florida, and according to the last two polls, he is leading in Michigan. The primary race in South Carolina is essentially tied.

Traditionally, of course, the winner of the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary would receive a bounce in the polls. That was especially true when only a few other states held their primaries or caucuses in February (click here to see the primary calendar in 2000). Back in those days, the winner of Iowa and/or New Hampshire could do a full month of advertising before the March Super Tuesday and be labelled the clear "frontrunner." With the change of Super Tuesday from early March to early February, however, any bounce in the polls would be significantly muted if that person doesn't do well on Feb. 5th.

Right now, Romney is leading in both the Iowa and New Hampshire contests. I have no doubt that if he wins these states, he will receive some bounce in the polls, but I project more at the expense of Thompson, McCain, and Huckabee rather than Giuliani. In addition, since Romney is polling 4th place nationally, he has some huge obstacles to overcome, and if he doesn't do well in both Iowa and New Hampshire, his campaign is essentially over, while Rudy's is only beginning. This is why I wholeheartedly disagree with Andrew Smith, a political scientist at the University of New Hampshire, who recently said, "Certainly [Romney] has to be seen as the front-runner now." That might be true if Romney was holding a solid 2nd place in the national polls and was running away with the polls in Iowa and New Hampshire. Since that's not the case, especially with Romney's 4th place showing in the national polls, there is no way anyone can call Romney a "frontrunner" at this time.

1 comment:

Lee Strong said...

Rudy is not a foregone conclusion. Folks are startign to organize for Mike Huckabee in Rochester, Buffalo and Syracuse. Below the radar for now, but expect lots of action soon.