By Byron York
National Review Online
Last November, when Rudy Giuliani was still the national frontrunner in the Republican presidential race, I asked him about his strategy for the weeks to come. His campaign would be moving into Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, he told me. “Everybody has their own theory,” Giuliani said. “Our theory was to get the big states organized, try to beat everybody else to getting the big states organized, so you have them as a fallback, and then take your resources and start to expend them in the states that come up first. And now we’re going to do that.”
But he didn’t, really. Giuliani didn’t make an all-out effort in Iowa, he didn’t make an all-out effort in New Hampshire, and he didn’t make much of an effort at all in Michigan and South Carolina. Rather than try to win in any of those states — in some of them, he had been leading in the polls as recently as December — Giuliani decamped to Florida, where he has been campaigning almost nonstop for weeks.
There was no single reason for Giuliani’s decision. Rather, his move was the result of falling ratings in some early-state polls, the effects of a damaging — and inaccurate — report on Giuliani’s personal life, and the candidate’s own campaign style. Put them all together, and Giuliani was left with an ostensibly national campaign that had shrunk to a single state.