Monday, July 09, 2007

Giuliani's geography strategy

While I'm not a fan of Rudy Giuliani's political stances and some aspects of his record, I am a fan of his campaign strategy. 2007/2008 is not 2004. There is one major difference - the timing of primaries. Several states are frontloading their primaries to compete with the traditional startups of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. While the rest of the field is concentrating on those states mostly, followed by a 2nd tier (Which includes Michigan), you have newcomers joining the ranks, including California and Florida.

Giuliani understand that, and is going for them.

From the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rudy Giuliani, taking advantage of an accelerated primary calendar, has adopted an unorthodox campaign itinerary en route to what he hopes will be the Republican presidential nomination.

The former New York mayor is lavishing attention on Florida and California, two delegate-rich states with voters far more receptive to his moderate-to-liberal views. Giuliani is not slighting the early voting states — he plans to be in New Hampshire on Tuesday and Wednesday, but it's his first trip there in a month.

So while Republican rivals Mitt Romney and Sam Brownback were in Iowa last week, Giuliani visited a deli in Orlando, Fla., a town-hall meeting in Jacksonville and a NASCAR race in Daytona Beach. The week before, he turned up at a bagel shop in Irvine, Calif.

Some speculate that Giuliani is deliberately lowering expectations for his performance in Iowa, New Hampshire and another early voting state, South Carolina. Already, he is skipping an early test of strength, the Iowa straw poll in August, although the Giuliani campaign insists he will compete in the Jan. 14 caucuses.

South Florida has a ton of ex New Yorkers. North Florida and the Gulf Coast is tougher for him, but worth fighting for. Giuliani is fighting for base votes (and getting a much deserved earful on gun control - a major weakness) as well as fighting for the more neoconservative crowd he's at home with. California has the money and a lot more "Law and Order" types compared to libertarians. He'll do well there.

The big unknown is what other states are going to move up their primaries. If all of them are frontloaded, then New Hampshire/Iowa may be almost worthless. We'll wait and see.

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