April 2, 2007


Iowa Could Be a Hurdle for Giuliani (Jonathan Martin, April 2, 2007, Politico)

[G]iuliani has yet to convince influential Christian conservatives who comprise the core of the Iowa GOP. "So far, he's not made any effort to talk to any of us," said Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Christian Alliance and a caucus veteran. He's staying neutral in the presidential contest.

"Maybe he thinks that he doesn't need social conservatives," wondered Scheffler, who has received only minimal contact from Giuliani's campaign. "I would hope not."

That Scheffler, among the most powerful grass-roots organizers in the state, has yet to receive so much as a telephone call from Giuliani reflects some of the growing pains of the former mayor's campaign.

Buoyed by impressive approval ratings from Republican voters, Giuliani has finally started to convince even once skeptical political observers that his candidacy is the real thing. But for every national or early-state survey showing Giuliani in the lead, there are reminders that his campaign still has significant hurdles to overcome.

His organization, as illustrated by the Scheffler example, lags far behind those of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney nationally and in the critical kickoff states in terms of size and sophistication.

But the problem is much more fundamental than just key activists not getting phone calls. Running in these early months without a fully developed campaign team, Giuliani has been battered by increasingly tough press coverage and has been unable to effectively push back against the charges dredged up by opponents and a scrutinizing media.

It still seems unlikely that the Mayor will run, not just because of the past lack of foire he demonstrated in ducking satatewide races in NY, but because he can't win IA or SC and faces a tough contest in NH.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 2, 2007 8:12 PM
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