Giuliani’s Electability is Not Enough

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Electability may excite political consultants, but it will take more than this to excite and mobilize voters and volunteers.

This entry on the Washington Post’s ‘The Trail’ blog presents mixed news for Rudy.  The poll shows, once again, Giuliani’s “sizeable lead over his three principal rivals,” but also reveals that “support for Giuliani is not deep – only a third of his supporters said they are strongly behind his candidacy.”  Then we have the oft-repeated notion that many conservatives are unsatisfied with the current crop of candidates and are waiting for a white knight – “Republicans remain less satisfied with their field of candidates…Sixty-five percent of Republicans expressed satisfaction with the GOP choices.”

This last issue is, from my vantage point, moot.  Of the three candidates out of the gates early – McCain, Romney, and Giuliani – Rudy holds a commanding lead.  Fred Thompson has, for all intents and purposes, entered the race, and still polls well behind The Mayor.  As for Newt, his poll numbers are essentially negligible.  In other words, there isn’t a candidate, declared or not, that Giuliani hasn’t trounced in the polls.

So why the shallow support for Rudy?

We are kidding ourselves if we believe that Giuliani’s electability alone can trump Hillary’s or Obama’s support (the article mentions that 70% of Hillary’s supporters strongly back her candidacy, as do 56% of Obama’s).  Volunteers – the foot soldiers in Presidential elections – need to believe in their leader.  They have to be fighting for Rudy, not just against Hillary or Obama.  And voters have to have a good reason to vote for Rudy, not just against Hillary or Obama.  As we saw with Kerry in 2004, close races are lost by candidates who rely on disdain for their opponents.

The good news is that there is no shortage of good, substantive reasons for electing Rudy.  And Rudy is second to none in meaningful, detailed plans for America’s future.  The key is drawing the nation’s attention to these points and changing the media’s shorthand for the Giuliani candidacy from ‘The Electable Republican’ to ‘The GOP’s Leader.’

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One Response to “Giuliani’s Electability is Not Enough”

  1. karlub - PA RudyBlogger Says:

    Excellent post. I am always surprised how little active GOP people know about Giuliani’s record in NYC. If more did– and apprecated what an adversial environment Giuliani overcame– then more would be FOR Giuliani as opposed to AGAINST Clinton, Obama, and Edwards.

    Of course, part of this will come on its own as the campaign and the media start talking more about why people AREN’T for Romney, Thompson, and McCain.

    It’s wrong, I know, but I am sometimes at my best when hurling invective. Can’t wait for that part of the primary to start…

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