Yesterday, a business owner in Manchester joked to me, “I hope Rudy slips on a banana peel or something.” This wasn’t based on any personal animus toward Giuliani. It was because he felt that if Giuliani were to win the nomination with his late-state strategy, then the New Hampshire primary will no longer matter, and it would hurt his business. In the wake of the reults on Tuesday, native New Hamshire-ites were proud that their state had made its mark on the presidential race once again–that they had declared their independence from pollsters and pundits. I wonder, will a similar sentiment prevail in Florida, only this time, to Giuliani’s benefit?
Florida moved its primary up to Jan. 29, because it wanted to have influence on the presidential race. If Floridians simply rubber stamp the results of the early states, they will prove themselves irrelevant in future contests, and assuming McCain wins, New Hampshire will retain its influence. However, if Florida goes for Rudy and he ends up winning the nomination after a string of lousy performances in the smaller early states, then the Sunshine State will suddenly become a hotly contested primary state from then on out. I’m sure candidates would rather be in Florida in January than in Iowa and New Hampshire anyway.