The Romney/Giuliani Disconnect
Anyone closely watching the Republican contest should notice the interesting disconnect between Mitt Romney’s lead in the early states of Iowa and New Hampshire, and Rudy Giuliani’s continued dominance in national polls. A look at the polling averages for each of these contests (take your pick, RCP or Pollster) underscores the dichotomy of state and national frontrunner.
So, the question is how will this all play out? Does Romney win the early contests, giving him critical momentum going into South Carolina and the numerous primary contests on February 5th, or does Giuliani eventually benefit from voter calculations about his viability in the general election, much in the same way that John Kerry benefited from last-minute voter calculations about his viability in a race against George W. Bush?
There is some suggestion that support for Romney is softening in New Hampshire, and that Giuliani is focusing on general election viability out on the campaign trail. Nonetheless, Romney has strong organizational support in both Iowa and New Hampshire, so it would be a mistake to count him out (and he is still leading in those states).
Early state momentum and general election viability are two essential components of a successful campaign, and the battle between Romney and Giuliani is providing campaign observers with a fascinating window into these political dynamics.

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