James Forsyth

How badly will Rudy do?

How badly will Rudy do?
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Rudy Giuliani’s sixth place finish in Iowa could be shrugged off as he had never really put that much effort into the state and as Iowa with its socially conservative Republican base was never going to be hospitable territory for a thrice-married, socially liberal former New York Mayor. But New Hampshire with its more small government, libertarian-leaning electorate was meant to be much more hospitable territory for him. Indeed, Giuliani made a major play for the state late last year only reducing his emphasis on it when a TV advertising blast failed to move the needle. So it will be much harder for Giuliani to shrug off a poor finish here. But that is precisely what he is heading for according to the latest polling averages.

Real Clear Politics has Giuliani in fourth place and only leading Ron Paul, the libertarian anti-war Republican, by 1.1 percent. To finish out of the medal positions would be bad enough for Giuliani, but to again come in behind Ron Paul would really pile the pressure on his candidacy especially as he is also not expected to do well in South Carolina.

The whole Giuliani candidacy has been bet on winning the Florida primary on January 28th. But if he has negative momentum, going into that contest he could fail there too and if he did it would all be over for him. 

One problem for Giuliani is that his ability to handle the Islamic terrorist threat is one of the main selling points of his candidcay but as McCain, with his national security experience, rises this is becoming less of a unique selling point. . Indeed, when Giuliani’s terror-centric ad comes on TV you initially expect it to be for McCain.

Written byJames Forsyth

James Forsyth is Political Editor of the Spectator. He is also a columnist in The Sun.

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