e saw a Texas poll
over the weekend and here is another deep Red state poll,
in which Rudy is now leading Thompson. In North Carolina Thompson lost 6 pts and now trails Rudy 21-19% with Romney at 16%. This story
out of South Carolina explains what many find is Rudy’s surprising appeal in the South
. My own sense is that these Texas and North Carolina polls show two things: 1) a cooling of enthusiasm for Thompson(will the debate help him bounce back?) and 2) Rudy’s tough guy image continues to play well in Republicans strongholds despite his social views. A significant part of that tough guy image is his choice of enemies — government bureaucrats, Yasser Arafat and Hillary Clinton, and his most recent addition to the pantheon, NY pornographers, who he reminds audiences he chased out of Times Square. If Thompson does not bounce back and Romney can not overcome resistance in the South (Is it religion? Or is it the flip side of Giuliani-a guy not tough enough?) some of the Super Tuesday Red States may be opportunities for Rudy.