With Mitt Romney increasing his lead New Hampshire, Giuliani campaign manager Michael DuHaime just argued in a conference call that the former mayor is still the candidate best positioned to win the Republican nomination because he’s pursuing "multiple paths to victory."
The Giuliani campaign has been seeking for months to lower expectations about their performance in the early primary states, and DuHaime fleshed out that line of thinking in the call.
DuHaime listed Giuliani’s double-digit leads in New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Connecticut as evidence of his strength beyond Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. "Some of those leads are momentum-proof," he said, adding, "Conventional wisdom had not guided this campaign."
UPDATE: After the conference call, Romney campaign spokesman Kevin Madden sent out the following rebuttal.
Mayor Giuliani’s "momentum-proof" national polling lead, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny all walk into a bar…
You’re right. None of them exist.
Why the "frontrunner" label and fifty cents won’t even get you a cup of coffee nowadays:
Mayor Giuliani continues to hang his hat on national polls that show him garnering around 30 percent support, yet fully 100 percent of the electorate knows who he is. That is a very big gulf to have between the number of voters that know him and the number that actually support him.
National poll samples are largely a reflection of name awareness at this point in the campaign. The polls taken of voters in the early primary states reflect the opinions of voters who are the most engaged and most informed about the candidates. For Mayor Giuliani to have 100 percent of Iowa voters know who he is, yet only around 11 percent of those voters support him…that’s a major problem for his candidacy.
The latest polls out in New Hampshire, Florida and South Carolina show that Governor Romney is perfectly positioned to be competitive in the early election contests.
The latest New Hampshire poll numbers from the University of New Hampshire and Marist College indicate that Governor Romney’s frequent travel to the Granite State-coupled with a message focused on his strong record of fiscal responsibility-has earned the campaign a competitive position with voters there. Here’s how the race has shaped up:
- A contrast has emerged between Governor Romney and the other candidates in the field: Governor Romney’s message of lower taxes, his promise to cut wasteful spending and his support for the line-item veto have helped voters identify with him, as opposed to other candidates who have proposed tax hikes, voted against tax relief and brought lawsuits against the line-item veto in order to protect pork barrel spending and earmarks.
- Governor Romney has also continued to advocate his opposition to sanctuary cities policies that Mayor Giuliani embraced in New York City.