Rudy Giuliani’s Good Strategy

by Mike on January 30, 2008

in Election 2008,Politics

Rudy Giuliani made the right decision when he decided to skip Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina to focus on Florida. The fact that his strategy was unsuccessful does not change the fact that the alternative would have been even more difficult to pull off.

At this moment, the Republican Party is not a conservative party; however, it is still a pro-life party. Any pro-choice candidate faces an uphill climb in a Republican primary. This is especially true in Iowa and South Carolina and generally true in New Hampshire. Rudy had no chance of winning any of these states. If he had campaigned heavily in these states, he certainly would have lost and resulting negative media attention and lost momentum would have killed his candidacy before it even reached the Sunshine State.

That’s not to say he had much of a chance in Florida either, but focusing his attention there was at least a plausible strategy. Unlike Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Florida is home to a large number of New York transplants who hold the Mayor in high regard. These voters, coupled with what Rudy hoped would be a split vote among a large field (similar to the large field in the earlier states) gave Rudy his only chance, small as it may have been, to win. It did not work, but that does not mean it was the wrong strategy.

If a mediocre football team with no passing game focuses on the run and still manages to lose to the New England Patriots, chances are, the strategy was not the reason for losing. OK, that’s a bad hypothetical because the Patriots cheat, but the point still stands. A pro-choice Republican lost in a pro-life party. It wasn’t the strategy that killed his chances. Pun intended.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

wickle January 30, 2008 at 6:51 am

Well, you’re probably right that it was the best he was going to manage. I do think that a lot of commentators left out the fact that he was ignoring the early states not because he wanted the more-delegate-rich states, but because he knew he had to go for more-liberal states where a social lefty had a chance.

Of all the Republican candidates, I’m most glad to see him go.

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Ryan January 30, 2008 at 3:53 pm

I still don’t get why he couldn’t just wait one week, stay in the race and see what happens on Super Tuesday. He still has a huge organization in all 50 states with devoted people who want him to win. He’d win New Jersey. He’d probably win New York. He’s popular in many other Northeastern states.

Not that I’d vote for him (I’m voting for Mitt), but it seems so premature with such little time left before the national contest of 22 state caucuses and primaries. If he is sapping votes from McCain, then all the better reason to stay in!

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wickle January 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm

From the polls I’d seen, he wasn’t going to win New York. He might have decided to spare himself that embarrassment.

And since he wound up endorsing McCain, he clearly doesn’t want to siphon those votes.

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