Rudy Giuliani’s team had a blogger conference call today. Bull Dog Pundit has the write-up (Mary Katharine Ham has another). I was on the call but did not ask a question.

The purpose of this call appeared to be to keep the momentum and answer criticisms that Rudy can’t win the nomination because of his positions on social issues. They were not really prepared to answer any questions about specific issues that did not relate to polling.

My conclusion? They are kicking butt in the polls and want to tell everyone. Good for them. They deserve it. However, when the question is, "will conservatives still support Rudy when they get to know his positions?", they need to be able to answer those questions. More details after the jump.

The pollster tried to establish that GOP voters understand that Rudy is a social moderate-to-liberal ("center-left on social issues" was their phrase) \so it will not surprise them when they find that out. That is, in essence, the main narrative for why Rudy will fail. (although the stuff about his family and business dealings also come up)

First, they claimed that he gets the plurality of votes from the "very conservative" bloc. And, furthermore, that most of the "very conservative" vote goes to "2nd and 3rd tier candidates". However, I am not fully convinced that this is relevant because the whole field is not going to be on the ballot, especially on Feb. 5th. We can reasonably expect a bunch of people to drop out after Ames. And more after IA and NH. Even if they are on the ballot, they will likely have endorsed someone else. In other words, I think that this argument sounds good, but it is a straw man. The real position is that Rudy is also winning head-to-head matchups.

Second, the important question for Rudy is what happens to his conservative vote when more YouTubes and speeches come out. Will they flee? First, the campaign argued that about half of the people who are favorable to Rudy are strongly favorable. This would suggest that they might stay. Second, they argued that a lot of these people actually know who they are. Time will tell on this one.

All in all, good for them for having a call and reaching out. Good for them for their fantastic numbers. I still didn’t get clear evidence that they will make it. But this is a campaign. You don’t get answers to many questions until election day. They have a good theory and are running with it.


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Blogs Receive More Clout Than Ever in 2008 Presidential Campaign | Blog World Expo Blog · May 19, 2008 at 9:06 AM

[…] Presidential candidates began courting political bloggers before the 2008 nomination race even got started. Virtually every candidate hired bloggers on staff.  Some successfully and some not so much. Many set up conference calls with bloggers (McCain has excelled here). Both the RNC and DNC are allowing bloggers access to the show floor during their national conventions. […]

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