For some perspective on just how ridiculous Giuliani’s “0-for-3” victory strategy really is, consider that Steve Forbes received 30% in Iowa in 2000 and then went nowhere (getting 13% in New Hampshire) and Alan Keyes managed to get 14% and then 6% in N.H. As of right now, Giuliani is apparently expecting to get only slightly better results than Alan Keyes and go on to win the nomination after also losing New Hampshire with Forbes-like numbers and losing Michigan (whose primary is in some kind of weird limbo at the moment). He’s also in danger of losing South Carolina….to Mitt Romney? Strange possibilities. In the past we have seen how quickly leads in South Carolina both before and after New Hampshire can vanish, so he cannot count on his position remaining stable until late January. Plus, California isn’t New Jersey–Giuliani doesn’t have some absurdly large, prohibitive lead out there. There were, at last count, 23 states holding primaries or caucuses on February 5, and I believe Republicans are voting in all but one or two of those states (the New Mexico GOP hasn’t moved up their primary).
Yes, I know this cycle is allegedly very different because of February 5 (will this day also get its own ditty, “remember, remember, the Fifth of February, the day of that stupid super-primary”?), but if Giuliani’s “strategy” is going to succeed he needs to be building up an insurmountable lead in the most delegate-rich states, and right now he isn’t achieving that. I talk more about the perverse and unintended consequences of the front-loading of the primary system in an article for Chronicles in an upcoming issue.
P.S. All of my statements are qualified by the reality that Dick Morris seems to share the same view, which is a good sign that I have gone wrong somewhere.