Rudy Giuliani is spending more time and money in New Hampshire, and it's looking more and more like the Granite State is his best shot for a win, or at least a close second, in the states that vote first in the Republican presidential sweepstakes.
A new Clemson University poll suggests that Giuliani's support has dropped precipitously in South Carolina, where Republicans vote Jan. 19. He is now in fifth with just 9 percent, behind Mitt Romney with 17 percent, Fred Thompson with 15 percent, Mike Huckabee with 13 percent, and John McCain with 11 percent.
Giuliani is also well behind in Iowa, where Republicans caucus on Jan. 3. But he is competitive in New Hampshire, which votes Jan. 8. He toured the state by bus over the weekend, repeatedly attacking Romney along the way, and is airing TV ads.
The former New York mayor's unorthodox strategy -- the vast majority of GOP nominees have won Iowa, New Hampshire, or both -- hinges on Florida, which votes Jan. 29. A new CNN poll there shows Giuliani well ahead with 38 percent, compared to 17 percent for Romney, 11 percent each for McCain and Thompson, and 9 percent for Huckabee.
Giuliani is counting on a big win in Florida as a springboard to more wins on Feb. 5, when at least 22 states will vote, including several delegate-rich states where Giuliani is doing well in the polls.