Patrick Ruffini makes a reasonable case that a divided field may help Giuliani in the end, but I still think it won’t. The divided field right now is giving Giuliani the illusion of hope, just as his high national poll numbers have created an illusion that he is dominating the race when he clearly isn’t. What is telling about all of this is that, absent Huckabee’s mostly unexpected and unpredicted rise in Iowa, Giuliani’s “strategy” for the primaries was fairly crazy. It remains so, even though Huckabee may have made the crazy strategy slightly more workable. It should have been a warning to the Giuliani camp that their cunning plan was essentially identical to Fred Thompson’s goal of winning South Carolina and then going on to win in many February 5 states. It should have been clear early on that a campaign strategy that bore strong resemblance to Fred Thompson’s was not going to work. At least Thompson had the excuses that he entered the race late and didn’t really seem interested in campaigning. Giuliani’s predicament in several of the early states is that he already knew voters there wouldn’t go for him, so there wasn’t much point in investing a lot of time and effort in wooing them. Thompson’s strategy seems to have been conceived in boredom, while Giuliani’s was conceived in fear. That’s not promising for Giuliani’s chances.
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