After spending three days in New Hampshire, I had a few general observations, based mainly on anecdotal evidence. The overriding sense I got was that at this point in the race, polls mean very little, because New Hampshirites with lives are just starting to pay attention, and they remain quite undecided, often oddly so. I saw people waving Rudy signs who also wore Hillary and Obama stickers and I spoke to one guy who clearly seemed like a Romney guy-he held a sign and wore a sticker-but told me he was really for Obama.
As I pointed out in my piece yesterday, I got mixed signals on how Giuliani is doing in the state. His crowds were thin at some events, but respectable at others. When he actually got out in public-as he did during a stroll down Main Street in Nashua on Saturday and at a holiday parade in Salem on Sunday-people seemed to adore him. They raced up to greet him, get his picture, shake his hand, ask for his autograph, and the crowd often broke out into cheers of “Ru-dy!” This suggested to me that now that Giuliani has decided to compete seriously in the state, taking out television ads and doing the up close retail campaigning that voters expect, he has a lot of room to grow. At the same time, there’s reason to be skeptical as to whether his celebrity status will translate into actual votes on Jan. 8. Outside one diner stop, a guy asking Giuliani to sign two magazine covers from when he was Time “Man of the Year” was undecided, as was a teacher holding a Rudy sign who told me she wanted him to autograph it for her class.
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