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Florida Numbers

There's an interesting new poll of Florida Republicans, and as far as I can tell it pretty much exposes Rudy Giuliani's primary strategy as completely misguided.

Rudy Giuliani continues to lead the Republican Presidential Primary in Florida with 27% support. That’s little changed from the 29% support he enjoyed in September.

But, there are plenty of other changes including good news for Mitt Romney and bad news for Fred Thompson. Through it all, the frontrunning Giuliani now has a nine-point lead, up from six points in September.

Romney has moved into second place with 19% support. That’s up eight points since September.

The Giuliani camp originally saw Florida as some sort of "firewall" but if these numbers are anywhere close to being accurate, Rudy is in serious trouble if he loses Iowa and New Hampshire--even if Romney only wins one of the two states. Let's assume Huckabee wins Iowa and Giuliani comes in third (a scenario the Giuliani campaign is praying for); it's still very likely that Rudy loses NH (the latest polls there are pretty grim). In short, it doesn't seem inconceivable at this point that Romney could lose Iowa and then still win in Florida. If Rudy's advisers think their man is not going to fall substantially in the polls after losing the first two states, they are completely delusional. 

--Isaac Chotiner