A poll released on the eve of Florida’s presidential primaries showed former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani in fourth place in the Republican race. Giuliani skipped several other early-voting states to focus on Florida, where he once held a big lead. Giuliani shrugged off the polls, saying he just needed to establish himself as a strong candidate in Florida. Pollster John Zogby disagreed, saying that Florida’s results could confirm that the fight is now between John McCain and Mitt Romney. “Giuliani is becoming less and less of a factor here,” Zogby said. (Toronto Globe and Mail)
What the commentators said
“Talk about a flip-flop,” said Donald Lambro in The Washington Times. A month ago McCain and Romney were far behind Giuliani and Mike Huckabee in national polls, and “all but declared politically dead.” Now Giuliani is “fading fast” all over—he has even fallen behind McCain on his home turf in New York.
It looks like Giuliani has gone to Florida to do what generations of New Yorkers have done before him, said Mike Madden in Salon. Retire. Giuliani led in Florida by five percentage points as recently as a month ago, and his slide into fourth is “cataclysmic.” He has placed no better than fourth in the contests held so far. "At some point, even if you're not trying to win, losing so often makes you seem like, well, a loser.”
Giuliani told USA Today this weekend that rumors of his demise were “premature,” said Byron York in National Review Online, but even he is talking about the campaign as a duel between McCain and Romney. Giuliani told supporters that McCain thinks Romney lacks national-security experience, and Romney thinks McCain lacks economic experience, but that he (Giuliani) had ample experience in both areas. You know Giuliani is “in trouble” when he starts defining himself, “not by his own record, but by the two frontrunners.”