Sunday, January 06, 2008

Rudy on "Why Skip Iowa?"

Rudy Giuliani gestures as he talks about John Kerry's voting record in the Senate during his speech at the evening session of the 2004 Republican National Convention at Madison Square Garden in New York City, August 30, 2004.
REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

Interviewed on the Mike Gallagher Show. Also discussed is the recent killing by a cab driver in Texas, because he didn't approve of his daughters' "western ways".

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Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Couldn't get it to play. Gist of what he said?


Sunday, January 06, 2008 9:14:00 AM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Roughly transcripted: "Our decision was based in part on how the scheduling was organized. In the past, there's been a large gap between one primary and another so you had plenty of time to regroup and raise money. Now, all of these primaries are happening in a one month window. It seemed to us, that you could not possibly contest in all of these if you did not pay attention to them and get your campaigning in on some sort of proportionate basis.

That's created an issue in Iowa where people in Iowa expect the kind of campaigning that existed when Iowa was all by itself, with New Hampshire 12 days later, then maybe one other states. We couldn't do that. We had to go focus on states like Florida, Michigan, Illinois, California...those are all states that are going to have a big say in this."

Interesting analysis from John McCormack, at the Weekly Standard:

"Giuliani will be focusing almost exclusively on Florida for the next three weeks, heading there on Jan. 9, the day after the New Hampshire primary." Giuliani will leave the Sunshine State only for day trips to raise money in Texas and campaign in South Carolina and Michigan. After dropping from from second place in October to sixth place currently in the Iowa polls, Giuliani is quietly battling Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul for third place in New Hampshire and trying to focus on his Florida-or-bust strategy. In a December 31 memo, Giuilani strategy director Brent Seaborn defended the plan to lose the first six contests, win Florida on January 29, and then bounce to a dramatic victory on February 5, Super Tuesday.

As Michael Barone notes, one "key weakness" with this memo is Seaborn's statement that an average of polls in Florida has Giuliani at 30 percent and his nearest challenger at 17 percent, but the most recent RealClearPolitics Florida poll average shows: Giuliani, 25 percent; Huckabee, 23 percent; Romney, 19 percent; McCain, 11 percent; Thompson, 9 percent. Furthermore, no polling has been done in Florida since December 18, at which point in time Giuliani was fading, while both Romney and Huckabee were ticking upward. Wouldn't this trend continue if Giuliani suffers six losses and the other candidates score victories?

Another problem with the memo is Seaborn's contention that there are only 78 delegates at stake prior to Florida because "Iowa, Nevada, and Maine do not select any delegates at their caucuses, but rather at state party conventions in late spring." This is technically true, but Seaborn doesn't mention that these caucuses largely determine the makeup of those party conventions. Delegates can only make it to the state convention if they are elected first at the precinct caucuses. That's why the folks at the Associated Press will estimate tonight how many delegates would be awarded to each candidate based on the caucus results for each congressional district in Iowa. While Team Rudy would like to put a big 0* next to the caucus states, I think the media will probably follow the AP's lead and estimate how many delegates will be awarded in Iowa and Nevada.

So, if you count these states, there are 154 delegates up for grabs before Florida's primary. None of the first six states award delegates on a winner-take-all basis, as does Florida with its 57 delegates, so it's possible that none of the other candidates will amass more than 50 or 60 delegates before January 29. Yet even if Giuliani wins Florida, there's no reason to think that he'll lock up the nomination on Super Tuesday, but more on that after the dust settles in Iowa

Michael Medved:

The Primary Schedule For months, the Giuliani campaign has written off Iowa and New Hampshire and it’s increasingly willing to abandon his unlikely contention in South Carolina. According to this strategy, as long as Rudy maintains his strength in national polls, he can afford to let others win the early contests before he grabs Florida on January 29 and then competes successfully in the multitude of big state primaries on February 5th. The surprising strength of Huckabee, Romney and now McCain makes Giuliani’s hold on Florida look more and more tenuous, raising the question of whether he can continue his campaign without winning the Sunshine State, or whether that battle will represent “Rudy’s Last Stand.” Actually, a quick look at the schedule suggests that barring an unexpectedly total collapse of public support, Giuliani will probably be able to compete all the way to the convention.

In part, that’s because February 5th will bring him several “home games” that he can easily win: New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Best of all, these big Northeastern states (with heavy concentrations of Giuliani’s fellow Italian-Americans, by the way) award their delegates on a “winner take all” basis, while most of the other major delegations will be split among supporters of various candidates. Most of his rivals have already conceded New York and New Jersey to Rudy, and abandoned the field: this means that even if he doesn’t do particularly well in the same day battle royal in California (which splits its delegates based on outcomes in each Congressional district), Rudy will still emerge as one of the big winners of “Tsunami Tuesday.” There’s also reason to believe that his superior organization and strong polling numbers will deliver a rich harvest of California delegates—insuring that after the first stage of the primary process, he’ll either lead the overall delegate count or else stand in second place. In any event, he’ll almost surely accumulate enough support to remain a factor in the nomination struggle all the way to the convention in Minneapolis.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 4:32:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Romney won in NH. I'd feel a lot better if Fred and Rudy were the frontrunners. Seems people in NH fell for the slick charm of Romney. Well, it's still early on. Things can change!

You were missed on the Live Blogging thing we did today that Mike moderated. People asked about you. They're doing it again on Tuesday. Hope you can make it.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 7:12:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

"People asked about me"?! Lol...You make it sound like I ditched the prom dance.

Hope it was fun. It's unlikely I'll be doing Tuesday night, since I work until 7-8pm, pacific time.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 7:17:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

You make it sound like I ditched the prom dance.

Was mike bragging about making his puppet dance, again? Wishfully projecting that it's wordsmith, dancing?

Sunday, January 06, 2008 7:19:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I'm watching 60 Minutes at the moment. Musharraf was just on. talking about the Bhutto assassination.

Sunday, January 06, 2008 7:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Sorry, Wordsmith... but it was fun.

Yes, someone asked "where's Wordsmith", and Mike responded you were mad at him and left a link to something. I haven't checked it out yet. I'm still very busy. At any rate, I thought he was joking.

Sorry to make it sound like you missed the prom. I missed my own prom, so I sure didn't mean to do that! ;)

Monday, January 07, 2008 4:42:00 AM  

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