When Rudy Giuliani's soft lead in the national polls evaporates, suddenly he'll be just another GOP hopeful lining up to get his head sliced off in the first big primary and caucus contests. And we seem to be there.
If you look at the trendline graphs created by Professor Charles Franklin for Pollster.com, the Huckabee line has finally converged with the Rudy's.
Those numbers were from polls as of December 16th. And the exact numbers are actually Rudy 22.6% and Huckabee 22.2%. So there's still a hair's breadth of distance between. But the trend line is awfully clear.
And this is borne out by two new polls just out this evening.
The new Wall Street Journal
/NBC poll out tonight
has Mitt Romney and Rudy tied at 20% with Mike Huckabee at 17%. That's close to a three-way tie for first with Rudy.
Then there's a Zogby phone poll out this evening
which has Rudy at 23%, Huckabee at 22% and Romney at 16%. The details are different, especially for Huckabee and Romney. But the big picture is clear: Rudy's lost his nationwide lead wide.
And the downward momentum will probably push him still further too.. With dismal numbers in the early races and lukewarm numbers nationwide, what's his political strategy again? Is there any rationale for still calling him the frontrunner?