It has been a busy couple of weeks for all those folks runnin’ for President!
Of course, everyone has something to say about Bush’s decision to commute ol’ Scooter’s sentence (you can find a detailed and thought-provoking run down here, courtesy of DryFlyPolitics). Then, yesterday, the final fundraising numbers for the previous quarter came in. Gary explained here how dangerous these numbers could prove for a stumbling McCain, but our pals at BlogsForBush also noted that Hillary could be in some serious trouble. That’s okay, though, because her Sopranos rip-off (discussed at length here by the cats over at Open Forum) was a great hit. Right? Right. According to our Election Tracker, both Mlle. Clinton and M. Giuliani seem to be enjoying (very) comfortable leads in national polling (click thumbnail to enlarge via lightbox):
Giuliani, however, trails Mitt Romney (R-MA) by sizeable margins in BOTH Iowa and New Hampshire, as you can see in DailyWrit’s graphs below (again, click thumbnails to enlarge):
He’s also slipping against Clinton in models of the General Election (you know the drill):
This could get bad for Rudy. He started strong, but it don’t take a genius to interpret those trendlines as a bad sign. Iowa is January 14 (DailyWrit’s full calendar of primaries and caucuses here), and he can’t seem to get it to together. He SHOULD be running away with this. Afterall, McCain is 473 years old and Mitt Romney sucked as Governor of MA. But he’s not. If Rudy finishes third in either of these two primaries, he better start campaigning to be somebody’s VP. In all seriousness, Giuliani is more an asset to the RNC at the bottom of the ticket than he is at the top. A pro-choice, pro-gun control, anti-anti-gay candidate screams of bipartisanship – which is the stuff of electability in a General Election. Unforunately, none of these admirable positions has anything to do with ethanol or farming subsidies, and, thusly, they won’t win Rudy any votes in Iowa. Nonetheless, his open-minded stances are very noticeable and, earlier this week, earned him a pseudo-endorsement from Joe Lieberman (explained here by Ian Schwartz). All of this got me thinking. I really think that the GOP stands the best chance with Romney/Giuliani, for several reasons:
1). Giuliani puts New York in play, which, if nothing else, forces Democrats to put some money into a state they would prefer to take for granted.
2). Pro-life/Pro-choice has something for everyone. Pro-choice/Pro-choice doesn’t.
3). These guys are from beyond the establishment. Let’s not pretend for any longer than we absolutely have to that McCain’s record (specifically, the S&L Scandal (more specifically, the Keating Five)) won’t come up as we creep towards Iowa.
4). Donor variability. Rudy (and his liberal social politics) might get a second look from leftist donors. That’s the kind of look that Clinton/Obama would never get from the NRA or a similar(ly wealthy) organization.
5). Romney needs someone who we know because (lets not kid ourselves!)…who is Mitt Romney? Seriously. He’s a Massachusetts Republican with a hot wife. Anybody got anything else? I don’t.
6). They essentially agree on the economy.
7). Watch the debates. These guys are good.