Republican presidential hopeful, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at a rally in Celebration, Florida. (PHOTO CREDIT: AP)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Florida could hold the keys to Rudy Giuliani's political future.
The former New York mayor has staked practically his entire campaign on winning in Florida. His strategy all along has been to skip the early races, so far there have been six of them, and focus on later, delegate-rich states like Florida.
But it may not be working. Not only has Giuliani failed to win anything up to this point, but the one-time national front-runner has finished far back in the Republican pack in the contests so far – placing behind Ron Paul in Iowa, Michigan, Nevada and South Carolina.
Giuliani calls Florida "our home field" and he says he thinks if he wins Florida, he'll get the nomination. But he admits that "a loss, and a bad loss, could be crippling."
In some ways, Giuliani's been lucky. So far there is no clear front-runner in the Republican race, with three candidates - Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, and John McCain - splitting the victories.
Polls in Florida suggest that Giuliani has not only lost the commanding lead he once had…but, in fact, is now tied with or trailing Romney and McCain. Florida is winner take all. And, in addition to picking up the state's 57 delegates to the convention, the winner rolls toward Super Tuesday when more than 20 states vote with a big head of steam.
And there is more of what might be troubling news for Giuliani: Two new polls out in his home state of New York suggest he's now in second place, trailing John McCain. Giuliani had been leading in New York polls as recently as last month.
Here’s my question to you: Was it a mistake for Rudy Giuliani to ignore the early races?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Bruce from River Forest, Illinois writes:
Well, if he can't win New York, how can he beat the Democrats come November? Didn't Gore lose Tennessee? I think this is pretty much the end of the Giuliani campaign.
Of course it isn't a mistake. The fist 5 states are nothing but a popularity contest. Who cares about Iowa, New Hampshire or South Carolina? They have virtually no delegates. They say you need momentum, but Giuliani has had momentum since September 11, 2001.
Jon from Tempe, Arizona writes:
It was a critical mistake. Imagine a football team that tries to win a game by not playing in the first quarter because they want to save their energy for the rest of the game. Giuliani should go back to New York because he is mortally wounded. Maybe he can run against Elliot Spitzer for governor or maybe he can run for the Senate seat that everyone knows will soon be vacated by Hillary.
Ben from Chicago writes:
Mistake, Jack? Are you serious? Can you somehow show up at the Super Bowl without being in the playoffs? I rest my case!
It wouldn't matter when Rudy entered the race. His disaster of a personal life shows a man without judgment and an ego that tells him that there are no consequences for his actions.
Blair from New York City writes:
(a guy who knows what it's like to live under RG)
Rudy made no mistake. If he had run hard in Iowa and New Hampshire, he would have disappeared from the news the same day Joe Biden did.
Diane from Durham, North Carolina writes:
Rudy was a one-issue guy and thought that could carry him through to the nomination. He tried to be a one-state guy and he is losing that. Rudy, perhaps you should have been a one-woman guy and you would have been a better guy.
Sorry, Jack. I didn't realize he was running anywhere. I just thought he went to Florida like every other retired person does.