With Florida moving up its primary to January 29th and the mega-primary on February 5th, the nomination process has clearly changed for both parties. But do these shifts also affect the type of candidate that the Republican party will elect? Rudy Giuliani, indicating he will run in support of abortion rights, alienates many social conservatives. In the latest polls from American Research Group, Giuliani trails John McCain in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
If McCain were to win the first trifecta, he would certainly carry momentum into the large states with primaries on February 5th. Nonethelesss, voters in California, New York, and New Jersey, which all hold primaries on the 5th, are less likely to be negatively swayed by Giuliani’s social views. Giuliani leads in all those states and would capture numerous delegates with victories. As if to follow this path, Giuliani’s campaign is still unsure on whether or not he will participate in a straw poll of Iowa Republicans this summer. If Giuliani were to pay less attention to the first series of primaries, it would lower expectations and dampen any momentum another candidate receives.
Giuliani certainly has paid less attention to the early states than the other Republican candidates. He has only visited Iowa three times this year, while Romney has gone to the state nine times, and McCain has made a whopping fifteen trips. Giuliani has also traveled to South Carolina and New Hampshire less than the other two candidates.
Republican primary voters are concerned about their ability to hold the White House and Giuliani’s views appeal to moderates, evidenced by his strong general-election matchups. Ultimately, the campaign hopes to drive that message home.