Politics

Why Donald Trump is better positioned than Rudy Giuliani in 2007

Republicans praying for a Donald Trump collapse have taken solace in the experience of past presidential candidates who soared to the top and then precipitously dropped.

Though Trump's time at the top has already far exceeded the time that flavors of the month such as Rick Perry and Herman Cain presided as front-runners in 2011, there's one example that provides special comfort to Republicans who want to see the Trump bubble burst, and that's the Rudy Giuliani experience in 2007.

When Giuliani ran for president, he actually was at the top of national polls for far longer than Trump has been to date. Whereas Trump has led for the past three months, since about mid-July in the RealClearPolitics average, the same average had Giuliani ahead from February 2007 through early January 2008, right after his poor showing in the Iowa caucuses. Though the RCP average starts in February 2007, one could argue that Giuliani's reign as the leader of the field started even earlier. For instance, a June 2006 Gallup survey had Giuliani at the top of the pack. Effectively, Giuliani was ahead from before anybody was a declared candidate until right after the voting started. Looking at this alone, it's easy to see the potential paralell between Giuliani and Trump.

But there's a crucial difference between Trump and Giuliani. Though Giuliani outperformed all other candidates nationally, he never polled as well in the early primary states, which are ultimately much more important. Giuliani never led in Iowa or New Hampshire beyond a short period in the spring of 2007, and was never ahead by more than a few points in South Carolina polling.

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