Monday, December 10, 2007

Rudy Discusses Polls And Campaign Strategy With Russert

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani was engaged in a brawl with host, Tim Russert. The show started off with a relatively friendly discussion about recent polls and Rudy's campaign strategy:

MR. RUSSERT: Let’s go right to it. Mason-Dixon, MSNBC have done some polling. First the Democrats, just to share with our viewers and give you a sense of that race. Here’s Iowa: Hillary Clinton, 27; Obama is 25; Edwards, 21--three-way dead race. New Hampshire, Clinton ahead by just three. South Carolina, Clinton over Obama by three. And the Nevada caucus, which is September 19th—November—excuse me, January 19th, Clinton, 34; Obama, 26.

Now the Republicans. Here they are, Iowa: Huckabee, 32; Romney, 20; Thompson, 11; McCain, 7; Giuliani, 5. Fifth place, is that a problem?

MR. GIULIANI: I wish you had shown Florida. It would—it would have—it would have looked better, where we have an 18-point lead. There are, there are some polls we’re behind, some where we’re ahead. I think there are 21, 22, 23 primaries and caucuses going up to February 5th. I think we’re ahead in 16, 18 of them. I don’t expect to win all of them. We’re going to work real hard in every single one of them, maybe surprise some people in Iowa, maybe in New Hampshire, work real hard there. South Carolina, Michigan, Nevada. Then we get to Florida, where I think the latest poll was 16 to 18-point lead, and we’ve had a lead there of that magnitude pretty much throughout. Every once in a while it slipped back to like seven or eight.

MR. RUSSERT: But in fifth place in Iowa, would it be better for you if Huckabee beat Romney in Iowa? Wouldn’t that be helpful?

MR. GIULIANI: The best thing is if you win. That’s the very best thing.

MR. RUSSERT: But that...

MR. GIULIANI: Who knows. Who knows. I—you’ve been through so many of these, Tim. You know that no candidate has won all the primaries in a, in a hotly contested one. This is one in which that’s not very conceivable, given all the good candidates there are. So if we can win a couple at the beginning, you know; win Florida for sure. We go into February 5th, then, ahead in New York, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut. We’re actually ahead right now, I believe, in Missouri. Kit Bond’s endorsement probably helped there more than me. But the reality is we’ve got, we’ve got a lead probably in, like, 15 of the 20 on February 5th, Florida, and we’re competitive. But we’ve got a long way to go in some of them. So we’re going to see. We’re going to work real hard.

MR. RUSSERT: Here’s New Hampshire: Romney’s ahead of—as you can see, 25; Giuliani, 17; McCain, 16. South Carolina: Huckabee is ahead 20; Giuliani, 17; Romney, 15. And Nevada, we’ll show you Nevada: Giuliani is ahead 25, 20, 17.

MR. GIULIANI: Now do Florida. Do Florida.

MR. RUSSERT: We, we haven’t done Florida. But we’ll, we’ll get there eventually.

MR. GIULIANI: No, but you look, you look at South Carolina, that’s, that’s a good place to be for someone who has, you know, campaigned all over the country. We haven’t concentrated on any one state. We’ve kind of had a proportionate campaign all over. Some of the candidates have concentrated on a state. We got a real good organization in South Carolina. That’s a very competitive place to be.

MR. RUSSERT: But if you lose...

MR. GIULIANI: New Hampshire.

MR. RUSSERT: ...Iowa, if you lose Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina, you’re still in?

MR. GIULIANI: I’m, I’m, I’m in, all right? The idea is you want to win the first one. If you lose the first one, you want to win the second one. If you lose the second one, you want to win the third one. And you want to be there for, you know, Florida, at the end of the month, big state. And you want to be there, certainly, for February 5th when we’re going to have more primaries on one day than we’ve ever had in our history. And some real big states, you know, New York, Illinois, California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware.

MR. RUSSERT: Let me turn to some important issues first.

MR. GIULIANI: Oh, and Michigan is in there, too. We shouldn’t miss Michigan is in there in January.
You can watch the discussion in the following video:

Rudy has a point. The race for the presidential campaign is wide open and theoretically Rudy can wait until Florida for his first win. But the dynamics and the polls will change as voters start to pick their favorites in the caucuses and primaries. The winners always get a big boost from the ensuing press coverage. Forida may be too long to wait.

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