Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani speaks to a group of supporters at Dino’s Seaville Diner in Dennis Township, N.J., Monday, Oct. 1, 2007.
A new NewsMax/Zogby survey shows the Mitt Romney lead in New Hampshire being cast aside, turning the stateâ€™s Republican nomination race into a cliffhanger featuring a clash of styles and substance.
The GOP NUTS:
New Hampshire is a horse race.
And, Rudy Giuliani has been the beneficiary of the Romney decline.
Just a few weeks ago the Romney folks were bragging that Romney was going to ride the momentum from wins in Iowa and New Hampshire to South Carolina and Florida.
Well, Mittâ€™s poll lead has collapsed in New Hampshire. So, back to the drawing board for Mitt’s strategy team.
Rudy has made a point of contending in ALL states and conserving campaign resources. Romney has tried for a knock out blow in Iowa and New Hampshire while burning through campaign cash.
But, why has Romney collapsed and what portends for the future?
But it is possible that something more fundamental is at play here. New Hampshire is the state of â€œlive free or die,â€ where religious conservatives do not dominate the G.O.P. electorate and libertarianism has a long tradition. So while Mr. Romney was affecting his socially conservative, anti-gay-marriage rebirth with an eye toward Iowa, Republicans in New Hampshire have watched approvingly as Mr. Giuliani (and John McCain, for that matter) pounded the lectern about taxes and security.
Whatâ€™s more, New Hampshire is a state heavily influenced by the Massachusetts media market, and which is overrun by transplants from Massachusetts. While Iowa has only ever known the religious conservative Mitt Romney, the residents of New Hampshire will be keenly aware of the stark changes Mr. Romney has undergone in order to accommodate his new political goals.
A dilemma for Governor Romney, wouldnâ€™t you say?
Play the moderate to win New Hampshire or lose your NEW â€œBRANDâ€ as a social conservative and lose South Carolina, Florida and other southern states.
Canâ€™t have it both ways.
In any case, Giuliani is the WINNER here.
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