For Rudy Giuliani, so far as the Feb. 5 primary goes, New Jersey is a shiny Yale lock. He is a favorite son, his campaign manager is the most powerful (not-for-sale) Republican in the state right now, the state party changed its rules to give the winner of the primary all of the delegates, and he's extracted more than $2M for his race.

Suffice it to say, the reason why Rudy Giuliani has traveled to New Jersey six times for campaign events only is that he is beginning to concern himself with the state's 15 electoral votes. (He's in Ocean View and Cape May today).

Democrats will not concede the state to Giuliani -- right now, Hillary and Rudy run neck-and-neck, but they do acknowledge that, at the very least, the Democratic presidential candidate will be forced to spend in excess of $5M -- maybe even$10M -- in the extremely expensive New York / Philadelphia media markets in order to remain competitive.

New Jersey's independents usually swing to the Democrat at the end, but they invariably give Republicans reasons for hope... generally in September. (See here). The last Republican to win the state's electoral votes was George H. W. Bush.

Giuliani's campaign also believes only Giuliani can put Connecticut and Pennsylvania in play, and have used the argument to bolster their contention that he's the most electable of all Republicans.

(Democrats Clinton, Edwards and Obama can plausibly argue that they can expand the map: Iowa, New Mexico, Arkansas, Florida, maybe even Kentucky, probably not North Carolina, maybe Arizona).

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