Never Mind Those Early States, Giuliani's 'Looking Good' For Feb. 5
By Juliet Eilperin
While some political observers may question GOP presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani's decision to emphasize Florida over the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, Giuliani strategy director Brent Seaborn doesn't.
In a memo titled "Looking Good" which Seaborn circulated to Team Rudy this morning -- and which Team Rudy's press office was happy to blast widely via e-mail to reporters -- the strategist outlines how the former New York mayor can still secure the nomination through his "bold" defiance of conventional wisdom. Giuliani's ranking in national polls has been slipping lately as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) have been gaining ground in the GOP presidential contest -- according to The Washington Post-ABC News poll, Giuliani got 26 percent of respondents' support on Dec, 9, compared to 37 percent on July 21 -- but that doesn't bother Seaborn, who writes his boss leads "in nearly every public poll conducted in the delegate rich states of Florida, California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey."
Those are the states that matter, Seaborn argues, once you do the math.
"For the record, only 78 delegates will be picked prior to Florida whereas 1,039 delegates will be picked on January 29 and February 5," the memo states. "Additionally, it is important to note that voting HAS ALREADY STARTED [his emphasis] in Florida, Missouri, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey and New York - tens of thousands of people will have already cast their ballot by the time you are reading this note. And more February 5th states, including California will begin early and absentee voting soon. All of this points to the folly of over-estimating the impact of the results of Iowa and New Hampshire and the wisdom of our strategy."
Of course, Giuliani isn't ignoring Iowa and New Hampshire altogether. He spent his weekend in Iowa and New Hampshire, and he will spend Jan. 2, 3 and 4 in the Granite State. Of course, he will spend part of Jan. 3 in Florida -- but that's just in keeping with his strategy.
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