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The Great Fall of the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Campaign

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Because Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign has taken the (now much criticized tactic) of focusing most of its energy and resources on winning the state of Florida, he has fallen so much out of the national spotlight in recent weeks that his lead has evaporated in not only national polls, but also what were considered "sure-bet" (and delegate rich) states like New York, New Jersey, and California.

The extent of Giuliani's fall is remarkable. The former New York mayor's miscalculation over a month ago was that it was worse for his campaign to compete and lose in the early states than to not compete and end up in fourth, fifth, or even sixth place. As a result of this strategy, for the entire month of January, all the media coverage was on the Republican candidates who were winning states—Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and John McCain.

If Giuliani was mentioned, it was in the context of the 'Florida firewall' or how poorly he had done in these key early states: 6th place in Iowa (3 percent), tied for last place in Wyoming (0 percent), 4th place in New Hampshire (9 percent), 6th place in Michigan (3 percent), 6th place in Nevada (4 percent), and 6th place in South Carolina (2 percent). Giuliani has only beaten Ron Paul in one state, New Hampshire, and that was by just one point.

Worse yet, Giuliani had been leading in the polls in nearly all of these states: in Iowa and New Hampshire as late as the end of July (ARG), in Michigan as late as the middle of November (Detroit News), in South Carolina as late as the end of November (ARG), and in Nevada as late as the first week of December (Mason-Dixon). Thus, these are not states that the Giuliani campaign can say they had no chance of winning all along.

Given the media frenzy toward Huckabee, Romney, and, particularly John McCain, Giuliani now also trails in several key states, including Florida. The latest Rasmussen poll of likely Florida GOP primary voters (conducted on January 20th) finds Romney at the top with 25 percent, followed by McCain with 20 percent, Giuliani with 19 percent, Huckabee with 13 percent, Thompson with 12 percent, and Paul with 5 percent.

Astoundingly, Giuliani also trails McCain by double digits in two polls of New Yorkers released today: by 36 to 24 percent in a new Siena poll and by 34 to 19 percent (with Romney at 19 percent as well) in a WNBC/Marist survey.

A Rasmuseen survey of likely New Jersey GOP primary voters gives McCain a 29 to 27 percent lead over Giuliani, within the margin of error.

In a Rasmussen GOP poll in California conducted last week, Giuliani had fallen all the way to 5th place: McCain 24 percent, Romney 17 percent, Huckabee and Thompson 13 percent, and Giuliani 11 percent. Giuliani also trailed McCain in California by 6 points in a CNN/LAT Times poll and by 15 points in a SurveyUSA poll both conducted about a week ago. Giuliani was leading well outside the margin of error in California as late as the middle of December (Field, SurveyUSA).

The problem for Giuliani—even in the unlikely event that he wins Florida—is that there is little time for him to regain his advantage in most of these key Super Tuesday states (there is just a one week buffer). As a result, political scientists, marketing firms, and future campaigns will no doubt use the Giuliani campaign as a case study of what not to do for years to come.

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Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


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