Bad dates: All signs suggest that Rudy Giuliani is paying less attention to Iowa than to later states. For him, the big day isn't Jan. 3, when Iowa's social conservatives will turn out for the caucus. He's focused on Feb. 5, when a boatload of larger states hold their primaries. That, according to reports and campaign documents, is when he'll look to clinch the nomination.
But with Iowa and now possibly New Hampshire pushing their dates earlier and earlier, Feb. 5 is looking rather distant. If Romney dominates in Iowa (recent polls show him beating Giuliani by a factor of two) and uses that momentum to finish solidly in New Hampshire (where the two candidates are currently neck and neck), there's more time than ever for those victories to sink in. If New Hampshire—and therefore Iowa—somehow gets pushed into December, an early win could be all but calcified by February.
Of course, he's not the only candidate affected by the primary-date arms race. A superearly Iowa caucus could hurt Barack Obama if the legions of Iowa students he plans to mobilize are still on winter break. On the other hand, early primaries give the front-runners—right now Hillary and Giuliani—less time to regain their footing against a last-minute insurgency. If Obama manages to get a boost just before the caucus, Hillary might not have time to recover. Same goes for Romney against Giuliani: If he deals a last-minute blow to Rudy's lead in the national polls before the primaries, a subsequent victory in Iowa could become more significant than just a mere early jab.
Oct. 17, 2007
With friends like these ...: The parade of half-assed endorsements continues!
First, Christian fundamentalist and university president Bob Jones announced his support for Mitt Romney, despite being "completely opposed" to Romney's religion. Now comes conservative Texas Gov. Richard Perry's equally lukewarm endorsement of Rudy Giuliani. Perry opposes abortion rights but said he supports Giuliani anyway because he believes the mayor will appoint conservative judges:
"Let me tell you, I can live with that," Perry said.
Easy there, governor. Don't get too excited now. From the same article:
Perry likened the choice to buying a new pickup truck, saying he would not reject a good model because it had one option he did not like.