Rudy Giuliani to Drop Out if He Doesn’t Win Florida?

Rudy Giuliani is likely to end his presidential campaign if he doesn’t win today’s Florida primary, Andrew Malcolm reports for the LAT.

Rudy Giuliani to Drop Out if He Doesn’t Win Florida? Rudy Giuliani appears to be pondering an end to his long pursuit of the Republican presidential nomination.

In a meeting in the back of his chartered plane en route to St. Petersburg, Fla., a short while ago, the onetime, longtime GOP front-runner told a small group of reporters, including The Times’ Louise Roug: “The winner of Florida will win the nomination.” He then went on to predict he would win. And his spokeswoman, Maria Comella, said later he was speaking with confidence.

But that’s an unusually categorical statement suggesting that only a total first-place upset by Giuliani, who trails both Mitt Romney and John McCain in all major polls for Florida’s Republican primary tomorrow, will keep him in the competition, despite previous repeated vows to continue.

Giuliani’s campaign, which led in national polls when it began and stayed there for many months, is showing signs of serious financial fatigue. This month his top staffers are foregoing their paychecks so the maximum amount of money can be invested to salvage his political fortunes in the Sunshine State, which was where Giuliani’s late-state strategy was to kick into high gear.

Conversely, one could argue that Giuliani’s simply doubling down on his Florida bet, saying that if he pulls off a win there, he’s the frontrunner. He’s wrong, I think, but that’s a reasonable interpretation.

Realistically, there’s not much way he can win if he doesn’t take Florida. The polls have him trailing in his home state of New York and way behind in California. So much for a large state strategy. And if he can’t afford to run ads in his target states over the next week, he might as well quit.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. SoloD says:

    If Rudy’s campaign thinks he would lose NY, he will drop out before next Tuesday. If they think he has a shot, he’ll hang in and use the Edwards strategy of getting enough delegates to be a real power broker at a brokered convention.

  2. yetanotherjohn says:

    So 2008 is going down in the history books as a really interesting political year.

    We have Rudy get in early to the race, then not run until the big states strategy that appears to be less than effective. We have Fred’s get in late strategy that didn’t work out. We have Huckabee showing that an all out push in Iowa may not be the best strategy.

    And of course on the democratic side, we see the natural consequences of identity politics coming home to roost.