Tags: Early | Primaries | Tough | Candidates' | War | Chests

Early Primaries Tough on Candidates' War Chests

Friday, 17 August 2007 12:00 AM

DERRY, New Hampshire -- Running for the presidency is costing Rudy Giuliani tens of millions of dollars early in the contest, when he has to be in 10 states at once. The New York Republican is hoping his gamble pays off.

With up to half the state contests that will select the Republican and Democratic nominees jammed into the first weeks of next year, months before the November 2008 election, contenders are facing the complicated -- and expensive -- dilemma of how to be in many places at once.

The former New York mayor has focused on the most populous states voting early, which he thinks will blunt the traditional focus of presidential contenders seeking their party's nomination in the traditional, smaller, opening states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

While the bigger states offer more voters, winning a high-profile early state can build momentum and credibility to win more support later.

"This whole election is changed," Giuliani, the leading Republican candidate in national polls, told reporters in New Hampshire on Thursday.

"For all of us that are running, this is a real juggling act. You've got to go raise $15 million, $20 million, $25 million. At the same time, you've got to be present in 10 different places," Giuliani said.

Although his campaign has run up a hefty tab, he said it was a quarter of what others have spent.

"We thought we had to solidify our position in those states. We're comfortable we've done that," he said.

Now, he is in New Hampshire for two days.

One of Giuliani's leading challengers, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, has focused a lot of time and money in Iowa, where he dominated a non-binding opinion poll last weekend. He met with voters in Londonderry, New Hampshire, on Thursday.

Giuliani did not even participate in the Iowa straw poll.

Jockeying for early influence in the process of selecting the Democratic and Republican nominees, some 20 states plan to hold nominating contests on a February 5 "Super Tuesday," including California, Illinois and New York, three of the most populous states.

Historically, the primary season stretched over several months, and winners were often known before many states voted.

"In years past, the presidential nominating process was a study in the domino theory. You paid attention to one state at a time and, if you knocked it over properly, it would lead to the next one," said Evan Stavisky, political strategist at The Parkside Group in New York.

"Now it's very much, 'How much money do you have?' You need to be able to fight in 20 states at a time."

This time, a candidate will need an estimated $25 million just to compete in the February 5 contests, New York-based Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf said.

Democrat John Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, aims to raise $40 million to compete in the early states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and use his showings there to propel him forward, his campaign said.

"Regardless of the candidate, however, it will be the momentum from these early states that will largely decide who becomes the Democratic nominee," Edwards campaign spokeswoman Colleen Murray said.

The new arrangement serves to close the door to lesser-known, lesser-funded candidates, said Kellyanne Conway, head of The Polling Institute in Washington.

"Any attempts that have been made to make the process a little bit more accessible to the average Joe, whether the average Joe is a candidate or a voter, seems to be completely obscured, swept away in this difficult-to-figure-out system," she said.

© reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.

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DERRY, New Hampshire -- Running for the presidency is costing Rudy Giuliani tens of millions of dollars early in the contest, when he has to be in 10 states at once. The New York Republican is hoping his gamble pays off. With up to half the state contests that will...
Early,Primaries,Tough,Candidates',War,Chests
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2007-00-17
Friday, 17 August 2007 12:00 AM
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