Thursday, December 20, 2007

Presidential Race: Tancredo Out; Giuliani Falling

Presidential Race: Tancredo Out; Giuliani Falling
Posted by Bobby Eberle
December 20, 2007 at 7:18 am
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According to news reports, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo will announce on Thursday his plans to leave the presidential race. Although his campaign never gained momentum, Tancredo can take heart in knowing that he nearly single-handedly changed the face of American political debate. Through his efforts, Tancredo took issues such as border security and illegal immigration and brought them out of the cellar and into mainstream political discourse.

When Tom Tancredo used to talk about illegal immigration, you could feel the audience collectively cringe. "He's talking about THAT issue?" people would say to themselves. Much like social security, illegal immigration was something that just wasn't discussed. However, Tancredo persevered and turned the third-rail issue of illegal immigration into the most important issue facing Americans today.


In our most recent survey of GOPUSA's Grassroots Survey Team, respondents chose "border security/immigration" as their most important issue with 43%. The next closest issue was the war on terror with 25%. Of course, we all know those issues go hand in hand. We just keep wondering when Washington "leaders" will recognize it.

As noted in the news story Tancredo to Abandon Presidential Bid:

Tancredo has consistently polled at the back of the nine-person GOP field. He has based his campaign on opposition to illegal immigration, a top issue in many areas of the country. He has run television ads that link lax border security to terrorist attacks, rape and other crimes.

Tancredo announced in October that he would not seek a sixth term in Congress, but hinted he would consider running for the Senate after his presidential bid.

Colorado will have an open Senate seat next year when Republican Wayne Allard retires.

Tancredo noted that "he became angry about illegal immigration because of bilingual education requirements in schools. He says those requirements turned out students who were illiterate in two languages."

With Tancredo out, the field narrows in what is increasingly becoming a toss-up race for the GOP presidential nomination. FOX News is reporting on a new poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC which shows former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's once sizeable national lead evaporating.

According to the poll, Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are now tied in the contest for the GOP nomination, each at 20 percent among Republicans nationally. The poll showed Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee at 17 percent and Sen. John McCain at 14 percent.

Last month, the same poll showed Giuliani leading with 33% followed by John McCain and Fred Thompson in a virtual tie for second (16% and 15% respectively). Romney was in third with 11%, and Huckabee was in fourth with 8%.

The news story suggests that Giuliani's personal life is having an effect on his numbers. "Just 35 percent of Republican voters gave Mr. Giuliani a high rating on having 'high personal standards that set the proper moral tone for the country.' Sixty-five percent rated McCain highly on that issue; 60 percent rated Romney highly on the question and 53 percent Huckabee."

Giuliani's slip is actually deeper than that. We are coming to "crunch time." The first primaries and caucuses are only a few weeks away. GOP voters are weighing many factors in their minds, two of which are issues and electability. In poll after poll, including GOPUSA's own survey, GOP voters believe Giuliani could be a strong president. But the fact remains that there are just too many issues in which Giuliani differs from grassroots conservative GOP voters.

This is a clear reason why Romney and Huckabee have surged to the top. Voters agree with them more on the issues. The dynamics that will be seen over the next month or so will be what happens when Huckabee's record is put under the microscope. We already see it happening. Romney has been in the spotlight, so his record has received much more scrutiny. Huckabee has flown under the radar, but now, his actions are coming to light.

The early primaries will indeed reveal much, and more than any other recent election, almost anyone can gain momentum and shake things up. McCain has garnered the endorsement of Sen. Joe Lieberman and the leading New Hampshire newspaper. Congressman Ron Paul raised over $6 million in one day including including $500 from a know white supremacist. He has plenty of money to hammer the airwaves in the early states. If Romney can come out of Iowa and New Hampshire as the leader, I believe he can unite conservatives around him and eventually emerge as the nominee. So much will play out in the next few weeks.

[http://www.gopusa.com/theloft/?p=627]

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