It would be disingenuous to deny that some of Hizzoner’s appeal lies in his electability. It is difficult to imagine any other GOP candidate has a better chance at winning a general election.
Of course, the fly in the ointment has always been about his electability in the GOP primary. Take a look at this map, though: (ht Lead Us Forward)
This map is based on the most recent polling in various state’s primaries, as they stand right now.
When the math is broken down, Mayor Giuliani would have more than twice as many delegates as his next nearest comeptitor, Fred Thompson. Romney and McCain would have about one seventh the delegates of Giuliani, with McCain actually beating Romney.
Currently, the Giuliani and Romney campaigns view each other as the primary competition. I judge this by the e-mail missives sent to pundits from each team’s communication’s apparatus. Last night the Giuliani campaign sent out nine such e-mails, with five taking digs at Romney and two taking runs at Fred as something of an afterthought. I am told the Romney campaign is maintaining a similar ratio, just taking jabs at Rudy.
Frankly, though, I find it hard to imagine Romney can overcome these odds. He’s spent about 10 million dollars to build his lead in IA, and not even he has enough money to do that everywhere else.
This is where PA comes in. Everyone knows Giuliani is strong in the Northeast. What other campaign’s must bitterly realize is these are all states where it is really, really expensive to organize and purchase media. Giuliani’s strength, you’ll see, also lies on the West Coast and upper Midwest (yes, yes, I know these are considered more “liberal”, but you be careful saying that to an Orange County Republican who launched Reagan’s political career).
Thing is, unless some candidate can erode Giuliani’s support in PA, NJ, NY, CA, he may be unstoppable. Not that those states are enough to win. But again, they are pricey. On that terrain it is much less fiscally prohibitive to play defence than offense.
Given this, the Giuliani campaigns electoral bar for the rest of the country may be set about as low as the one set for Fred Thompson at yesterday’s debates.