Rudy’s plan has been an unconventional one since the beginning: ignore the traditional early states like Iowa and New Hampshire and go out and win the delegate rich states like New York, Florida and California. Seems logical enough, except that his campaign team has forgotten the first rule of political fight club. There is no logic in presidential politics.

While there may be no logic, there is history to examine, and one fact that Team Rudy may have uncovered is that only once in the last 40 years has a candidate won the first two states – Iowa and New Hampshire – and failed to win the nomination. (Trivia question – who was it?)

An article on Politico talks about the factors behind Giuliani’s change of heart on an early race and it appears to come down two factors:

The shift in strategy is motivated by both opportunity and fear.

The fear is letting Mitt Romney sweep Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan and gaining a level of momentum that Rudy potentially could not counter on Super-Duper Tuesday.

The opportunity is the fact that Romney, despite spending buckets of money in New Hampshire, is not quite running away in the polls. In fact, as recently as July, several polls had Romney up by as many as 16 points. Some recent polls have his lead at 10 points or even as low as 6.

The funniest part about this whole scenario is the fact that New Hampshire hasn’t even officially set the date for its primary:

While most in the state expect it to be held on or around Jan. 8, Secretary of State William Gardner — who has unilateral discretion over when to schedule the primary — could still move it up to December, before the Iowa caucuses.

If Giuliani can pull a Grinch and steal New Hampshire from Romney while he’s sleeping, it would be a serious blow to Mitt’s plan to sweep the first three and ride the wave of momentum to the nomination.

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