The countdown to March 31… Rudy Giuliani, who more and more people are seeing as the GOP's presidential frontrunner, flexed some of that newly acquired muscle in Florida. The St. Petersburg Times reports that a key Mitt Romney fundraiser resigned his post in order to join Giuliani's campaign, saying he's now convinced Rudy can win. The fundraiser in question, Richard Blankenship, is President Bush's former ambassador to the Bahamas. Also, yesterday in Louisville, KY, was an example of the enormous advantage Hillary Clinton's campaign has over every other candidate running for president: Bill Clinton was in the Bluegrass State raising money for his wife's campaign. While all of the presidential spouses do their share of fundraising, can any other spouse attract the attention that Bill Clinton can? It's one of the many reasons why we expect Hillary Clinton to be the clear-cut fundraising leader on March 31.
In primary calendar news, Tsunami Tuesday -- scheduled for February 5, 2008 -- appears to be on track. Both chambers of New York's legislature passed legislation yesterday that would enable the state to move its primary to that day. And Florida's House passed a similar bill that would move its primary to February 5 or seven days after the New Hampshire primary – whichever occurs first. More than 20 states could hold their primaries on this day.
A new Quinnipiac poll has the three leading Democrats (Clinton, Obama, Edwards) leading or tied with the two leading Republicans (Rudy and McCain) in Ohio. In the Democratic primary, Clinton's lead over Obama shrunk from 38%-13% in January to a mere 10 points now, 32%-22%. And this is a poll that includes Al Gore in the ballot test. On the Republican side, Giuliani increased his lead over McCain since January -- it was 30%-22% then and its now 31%-20%. No other Republican received double-digit support.
The Washington Post reports on the unmasking of the creator of anti-Hillary YouTube that created so much buzz.
And in non-presidential campaign news, things seem to be getting only worse for Senate Republicans. In the same week that news came out showing the Senate Democrats already holding a substantial fundraising lead, the Republicans lost its best-funded candidate in the only open seat of the cycle so far. Former Rep. Scott McInnis (R) decided against running in the race to replace retiring Colorado Sen. Wayne Allard (R). McInnis' exit means the GOP will likely host a primary, which, if Colorado GOP history is any indication, will be divisive. Meanwhile, the leading Democrat is Rep. Mark Udall, son of the late iconic Rep. Mo Udall.