Rudy Giuliani's campaign manager, Michael DuHaime, held a long conference call with reporters today -- read the full transcript after the jump -- but here's what he wanted to convey, in a single sentence:
"I think what we see is there's a possibility of two paths. And obviously, we agree that there's the ability for the momentum that comes out of early states, or we wouldn't be as focused as we are on some of the early states."
"But we also recognize that, with so many large delegate-rich states moving up to so early in the process, that it's impossible to think that it will be over after only three states vote."
Giuliani Campaign Manager Michael DuHaime And Strategy Director Brent Seaborn Hold A News Teleconference
GIULIANI CAMPAIGN STAFF HOLD A NEWS TELECONFERENCE
NOVEMBER 12, 2007
SPEAKERS: MICHAEL DUHAIME, GIULIANI CAMPAIGN MANAGER
BRENT SEABORN, GIULIANI CAMPAIGN STRATEGY DIRECTOR
JASON MILLER, GIULIANI CAMPAIGN DEPUTY COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR
MILLER: Good morning. Thank you, everybody, for joining us.
On the line, we have Michael DuHaime, our campaign manager, as well as Brent Seaborn, our strategy director.
The purpose of having this phone call this morning is to give you guys an update of where we are with the campaign. This is something that we've talked about privately with a number of you. This is for a broader audience. And this is very timely, especially with the RNC's release of delegate counts this past week.
And so, on that note, I will go and hand over the call to Michael DuHaime.
DUHAIME: Thanks, Jason.
Thanks, everybody for getting on this call. And I just wanted to walk through -- as Jason said, with the Republican National Committee releasing its final delegate count last week, I wanted to go through a little bit of how we see the state of the race, as it stands today.
So what I want to do is focus on some of the early states and then look at February 5th and beyond, in terms of how it looks, in terms of how it shakes out for us and for the entire field.
Right now, we feel extraordinarily good about where we are, at this phase of the game. I think, if you look at general -- excuse me, if you look at the nationwide polling right now, obviously, the mayor continues to enjoy double-digit leads over every single opponent that he has. Sometimes there's a different person in second place every time. But regardless, the mayor, generally, on average here, has a double-digit lead.
And our share of the ballot has continued to go up as well. So we wanted to -- and feel very good about that right now.
Obviously, looking into the early states, right now, we feel very competitive right now in the early states. Obviously, when you look at Iowa, it seems to be a bit of -- obviously, Governor Romney has a lead there, but a bit cluster for second place right now, in Iowa.
In New Hampshire, we feel very good about where we are positioned, right now.
In South Carolina, if you look at many of the averages, we're actually in first place in South Carolina, in many of the averages in the polls.
But what I wanted to do is focus beyond just those states and look at the delegate count that the RNC has released.
And if you look at the early states and the delegate apportionment by state, essentially, what you -- what we have factored in, and what I think is important for everyone to factor in, is a look at how many delegates will be allocated and how they're allocated.
And if you look, obviously, Iowa is extraordinarily important for momentum and we know that. But Iowa awards no delegates.
New Hampshire has 12 delegates, which will be awarded proportionately to anybody who gets over 10 percent of the vote. So whoever wins that will have a slight delegate lead.
Michigan, obviously, right now is unknown as to when their primary is going to be.
South Carolina awards their delegates by congressional district -- winner-take-all by congressional district.
The first big treasure trove, obviously, is Florida. Florida has 57 delegates and will be a winner-take-all state.
So regardless of what happens in the early primaries, it's safe to, I believe, assume that every single candidate, or every single major candidate, at least, will get some number of delegates out of the earlier states of New Hampshire and South Carolina and Michigan, obviously.
But Iowa has 40 delegates, but they're not technically awarded until later in the cycle. The same is true about Nevada. Nevada is essentially advisory, as well.
We believe that whoever wins Florida will have a delegate count lead going into Election Day: 57 delegates, winner-take-all is very -- I think an important thing to look at.
And then if you look toward February 5th, there are 1,038 delegates available on February 5th. And so, regardless of how the early states line up, I think when you look at 1,038 delegates being available that day, I think it shapes out very well for us.
I think one of the things to also look at is which of those states are winner-take-all and which one of those states award their delegates in a different way. I think looking at this mathematically, obviously, when you have states like New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware that are all winner-take-all -- New York with over 100 delegates, New Jersey with 52, Delaware with 18 and Connecticut with 30 -- you have over 200 delegates right there.
Obviously, you add -- you add Florida to that mix, and you're up to 260 delegates or so.
You need -- you need less than 1,200 delegates now to win the convention, so, when you have, you know, 250-plus delegates right there that are winner-take-all, many in states where the mayor right now has a double-digit lead, Florida being the closest of those four -- of those five states that I just said, obviously we feel good about that.
I also think Missouri is a place that people should look right now. Fifty-eight delegates right now from Missouri. Obviously, Missouri, I think, is open for any number of candidates to win. But, obviously, today the mayor is campaigning in Missouri.
Senator Kit Bond's endorsement is very -- is very important to us there. He has a very well-respected political organization as well how well-respected he is, obviously, as a former governor and as a U.S. senator.
I feel very good about our chances in Missouri looking up right now.
The only other two winner-take-all states that day are Utah and Arizona. Obviously, at the last public polling I saw on Utah, Governor Romney had a lead there. In Arizona, obviously SenatorMcCain has a lead there. I think the three most recent polls, he's only been ahead of us by single digits in his home state of Arizona.
When you look at those being the only winner-take-all states, and you start to look at how the other states on February 5th line up, almost everywhere that we are not first, we are second.
And in many of those states -- excuse me, let me just touch on two other states that I think (inaudible) going to do very well in.
One is California, with 173 delegates. Another is Illinois, 70 delegates that are awarded by -- elected by congressional district. We have a very strong slate of delegates in Illinois.
When you look at those two large states, add them to the four Northeast states that are winner-take-all, add them to the Florida, where we're very strong right now, I think you look at February 5th being a date that lines up very, very well for us in terms of how many states we're going to win and how many delegates we're going to take out of that. If you look, even arguably, at states right now where we're not first, for the most part we're second in many of those states. You look at states like Georgia, states like Alabama, where Senator Thompson has a single-digit lead on us. You start to look at states like Oklahoma, North Dakota, where I think we have a very good chance of winning. You start to look at states, you know, all these states -- West Virginia, where I feel very good.
I think when you start to look at how they award their delegates, they essentially, the delegates will split up in many of those states.
So, we are the only candidate on February 5th who has, right now, a large number of delegates that we essentially can count on coming to us on February 5th, should the campaign, obviously, proceed along the way that we see it happening.
So, I think when you start to look at this, most likely you're looking at the mayor having a triple-digit delegate count lead going into -- coming out of February 5th.
Obviously after that, the campaign could continue beyond that. I still feel very good about that in the states like Maryland that come a week later, where the mayor's got a double-digit lead, Wisconsin, where the mayor leads, if you look beyond that.
If you look, there are other big states -- Texas, where we have Governor Perry's endorsement; Pennsylvania, where we essentially have a two-to-one -- two-and-a-half-to-one lead over the nearest person; Ohio, where we have a three-to-one lead over the nearest person.
Many of the very delegate-rich states that come after February 5th are also very favorable, right now -- favorably disposed to the mayor.
So right now, I just wanted to walk people through that, let people look at that and let people focus a bit on this delegate count.
Again, just to focus a little on what comes in the early states, again, Florida, 57 delegates; if you look at New York with over 100 delegates, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware.
You put New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware together, over 200 delegates right there. Florida, 57 delegates, winner-take- all. I mean, you look at that number of delegates -- there's an enormous amount of focus, as there should be, on Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina. And obviously, some of the other states like Michigan right now are up in the air. And we obviously feel that those states are greatly important, as well, or we wouldn't have dedicated the amount of the mayor's time and the amount of the resources that we have for those states right now.
But again, I feel very, very confident. As you start to look at the delegate counts that the RNC just put out last week, you start to do this as a delegate game and start to look at places where the mayor is very strong and look at where the other candidates are strong, this very much lines up very favorably right now for us. And so I thought -- with the RNC releasing these numbers last week, I thought it would be a good time to bring folks together and kind of lay out how we see this happening. And you start to look at many of these states where we believe we're very strong and kind of allow everybody the opportunity to ask us a few questions about.
And with that, I'll just turn it over -- I'm sure folks have questions. I'll turn it over to Brent Seaborn quickly.
Brent, if you have any further comments on that.
SEABORN: I don't have anything else to comment on on the delegate allocation process or the calendar, really.
In terms of national polling, and even some of the state polling, it's notable for us -- or I will note that we, sort of -- on the averages, there's number of Web sites and we also keep our own, sort of, averages of the national polls and key state polls.
We've broken through that 30 level; we're in the low 30s, 31 percent/32 percent average right now in national polling. Almost to the point that we're doubling up on the second-place candidate.
And I think that that race for, kind of, second nationally is -- you know, John McCain and Fred Thompson are locked in a bit of a battle to see who's going to be in second place nationally.
And, you know, we've really seen the rise of Governor Huckabee. And he's been putting together, I think, a reasonably good campaign, with the resources they have and the start they had. They've really, kind of, put things together in the last weeks, I think, very well.
So we're -- I think he's going to enter the states here, in the last stretches, as a real candidate and, sort of, moving into the second-tier of candidates.
And in some polls, he's even challenging Governor Romney for who's in third or fourth place in a couple of these. It's just been a point or two lead in the national polls.
I think we feel good about where we're at in Iowa. I think Mike alluded to that.
Right now, the way we see it, it's -- you know, Governor Romney has a big infrastructure there. He's invested a lot there, obviously.
And we feel like we're in a pretty good place. We're comfortable with where we're at. We've got a very good field program there, in terms of the quality of our staff that's operating in that state.
And we're really in, sort of, battle with Governor Huckabee, there, for who's going to be in second place.
Certainly, Fred Thompson will want to do -- will want to make that a stand. But right now, he hasn't gotten it together as quickly as he might have.
And I think New Hampshire is setting up to be a very interesting battle. And then we get into Michigan, when it goes, and South Carolina. We've been very stable there all year.
In Florida, we're pleased that we're starting to trend up in Florida a bit. We saw some really good numbers out this weekend in Florida. We're very pleased with the St. Pete poll that was out: has us at 36 percent and McCain in second place at 12 -- I'm sorry -- McCain in third place at 12, and Governor Romney in third (sic) place at 19.
That's about in line with what we've been looking at in terms of our internal trends as well.
We feel good about that.
And we also feel great about the poll we've seen in California and Illinois, frankly, Missouri.
Michigan, we feel very strong there. When they decide what their date is going to be and what the rules of their process will be, if there's voting or if it's a convention of some kind, if it does go to voters and we actually put this in a ballot box, I think we'll be very strong in Michigan.
MILLER: OK. Thank you very much, Brent.
At this time we will open it up for questions for either Michael DuHaime or Brent Seaborn.
QUESTION: Hi, how are you all?
I just first want to ask you guys -- I know you're talking a lot about Feb. 5 and some of those states, and Florida in particular.
But, you know, obviously, with Romney putting the amount of money he has in Iowa and New Hampshire, you know, are you guys looking at the fact that some of those leads that you have in those states could potentially come down with that -- you know, with that momentum from Iowa or New Hampshire?
And where do you guys think you need to finish in Iowa and New Hampshire to kind of -- to buoy yourselves for February 5th?
DUHAIME: You know, I really look at some of the leads we have in a number of the states that we mentioned, whether it's New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, I mean, some of those leads are momentum-proof, I think, in terms of just how large they are at this point.
Especially if you go to the mayor's regional base, obviously, those are folks who know the mayor and know the mayor very well.
I think, if you compare New Jersey to New Hampshire right now, I mean, you know, in New Hampshire, 85 percent -- or 80 percent to 85 percent of New Hampshire residents see Boston television and have seen Governor Romney in action as a governor for four years and as a Senate candidate before that.
And if you look at his lead there, being precariously, you know, in the double digits, compare that to our lead in New Jersey, where you've got, you know, 75 percent of the state covered by the New York media market, where you have the residents of New Jersey seeing the mayor's record, results as the mayor and as a U.S. attorney before that, I feel very good where we are in our home region vs. where, really, anybody else is in his home region.
So I feel very good about those leads there.
Obviously, we're looking at -- there are multiple paths to victory. And everyone seems to be, obviously, focused on the traditional path of winning the early states and then having momentum throughout.
I think what we see is there's a possibility of two paths. And obviously, we agree that there's the ability for the momentum that comes out of early states, or we wouldn't be as focused as we are on some of the early states.
But we also recognize that, with so many large delegate-rich states moving up to so early in the process, that it's impossible to think that it will be over after only three states vote.
And I think what we've taken is a long-term (ph) approach. I think people have mistakenly, in the past, called it a February 5th strategy. I think, really, what it is -- it's much more of a long- term strategy that recognizes that, while there are three of four early states, there are also 20 votes following up on the heels on that, and that people will still be on the ballots and the campaign will still be going on at that time.
So, I think it's more of a recognition of what that means.
In terms of where we're going to be, I feel very good in terms of where we are right now. I'm not going to predict how it's going to turn out in these states.
I really think what Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina are going to do, they're going to eliminate candidates. And I think that's essentially what they'll serve to do. Obviously, they'll serve to give the winner, or even the person who comes second or third some momentum.
Also, what they'll do is they'll eliminate certain candidates. And I think if you look at, kind of, where we are and the strength that the mayor has, the mayor is not going to be eliminated by any of the early contests. I don't think the same can be said for others.
So right now, I feel very good where we are. We certainly recognize the ability for a candidate or candidates to get momentum or to be hurt by the early states. But we also recognize that this is not the same time as, say, 2000 or 1996 or '92 or '88 or '80.
I mean, there's a different calendar this time than there ever was before.
QUESTION: Hey, guys, how are you?
I just want ask you guys about January. You talk a lot about February 5th and then the subsequent states after that, but you guys know that this contest doesn't necessarily take place in a vacuum.
Are you guys confident that you can potentially -- if Michigan is, in fact, a primary -- you guys could perhaps go 0 in 3 out the gates and still be strong in Florida in February?
DUHAIME: Yes, I am confident of that. I mean, also, I think the focus that folks have on early states right now is a focus where one candidate has spent $16 million, $17 million on television and no other candidates have spent that kind of money yet. And, you know, when you have media in a complete vacuum, I think it's not necessarily come to the heat of the campaign yet.
So I do think when you -- you obviously have Governor Romney with a lead in New Hampshire and a lead in Iowa. But you also have Governor Romney essentially being flat in those states, as well.
I think that if you look, Governor Romney is in the same place in Iowa that in many ways he was in May or June. And having gone through the straw poll and been, literally, the only candidate on television since May, when you're alone on television for six months in several states and you're flat, you know, I don't -- I don't know how excited you'd be.
And I feel like the opportunity is there, not only for us, but for other candidates as well, in terms of the early states.
My recognition there is that there's no guarantee that any one candidate wins all the early states. In fact, you know, when you talk about the momentum effect, I would even just look back at the -- I would look at the 2000 campaign. I would look at obviously, then- Governor Bush winning Iowa, and then Senator McCain winning New Hampshire, and then Bush winning South Carolina, then McCain winning Michigan, and then, obviously, Bush winning the nomination.
So the momentum from one to the next obviously didn't happen in 2000. And now you've got a much more fluid race with more than two serious candidates. So I think it's -- as Brent said, there's five serious candidates in Iowa, at the very least, and at least three or four in most of the other states.
So the answer -- the quick answer is yes.
QUESTION: Are you concerned at all about some of the polling that came out of New Hampshire over the weekend showing Governor Romney, at least in these two public polls, bouncing up a bit?
And do you have any concern about waiting so long to pull the trigger on paid TV ads?
DUHAIME: You know, in terms of paid television, you know, obviously we're going to go up in these states when we are ready to go up and we think the timing is right.
In terms of concern, again, I kind of go back to my last question in terms of, you know, where we are relative to Governor Romney. I mean, this is Governor Romney's backyard, and people should recognize that. You know, if you live -- for the most part, if you live in New Hampshire and -- if you live in New Hampshire, you know who Governor Romney is and you've seen him as a governor, you've seen his campaigns for governor. You know, depending on how long you've lived there, you saw his campaign for U.S. Senate. So he should have an institutional advantage here.
And obviously Senator McCain did perform very, very well here in 2000.
So we're in many ways, you know, Mayor Giuliani is obviously well known. This is his first political campaign in New Hampshire, whereas it's not for the other candidates in terms of what the voters have seen.
So right now, again, against two candidates who have, you know, very strong reason to believe that they should win New Hampshire, both candidates having been on television – Senator McCain's been on television now for five or six weeks and is still trailing us in New Hampshire, and you've got Governor Romney, again, who's been essentially, until Senator McCain went on, basically unopposed on the air for six, seven, eight, nine months almost, you know, again, I feel fine where we are right now.
SEABORN: I can add a little bit to that.
You know, when we look at the polling trend in New Hampshire over the past year really, it seems as though Governor Romney really, sort of, averages out right around 30 percent. So this is really in line with the trend we've seen all the way going back to April, and there's a pretty tight pattern he has right around 30. These are a little bit on the high side of 30. He's been on the low side of 30 a couple times as well.
So I think this is -- he's well within what we've seen along the way, and it's certainly not trending. It's not continuing to trend up. He got a real good bounce in April when his TV started to penetrate. And if you look at the amount of money he's put on the air in New Hampshire, it's not surprising that he's at 30. It's maybe a little bit surprising that he's not continuing to move the numbers up more quickly.
And I'm sure that they'd like to see the New Hampshire number claiming more than it has been since the springtime. But he's got somewhere around $4 million that he's put on the air in New Hampshire; probably a little bit less than that on TV, but he's right around $4 million. And we've put zero ads up, as you pointed out.
QUESTION: Couple of questions very quickly.
I'm a little confused as to how you're talking about it not being a February 5th strategy, because you're talking about -- I mean, you were talking about flat polls for Romney in Iowa, but he's -- you know, he's at 30 percent, Huckabee at 15, Giuliani at 13. It's very possible Giuliani could come in, you know, third, fourth in several of these early states, which leaves you then really needing to do quite a bit in February 5th.
And also if you could talk very quickly about the strategy of campaigning in those February 5th states.
I guess what I mean by the strategy is, the February -- knowing that we're going to do well on February 5th does not preclude us doing well anywhere else.
And I think what the folks in the past had suggested -- I think the mayor's schedule has borne out that it's not true -- is that we would focus solely on February 5th.
I think, again, what we've got is a recognition that the early states are important, the recognition that every state is important and that some states, by virtue of where they are on the calendar, are disproportionally important.
But that doesn't mean that there's not a huge number of delegates that are available on February 5th. There's no single point in the entire cycle that's even close to February 5th, in terms of the number of delegates.
There's a few hundred available before February 5th, there are a few hundred available in the latter part of February, a few hundred available in March and, again, a few a hundred available in April.
There's no point in this campaign where you have, you know, nearly all the delegates you would need to win, theoretically speaking, but essentially, you're in the neighborhood of less than 2,400 delegates in the entire -- for the entire convention. There's less than 2,400 delegates. And you have over a thousand available on one single day, it's hard to miss that that day has got to have a bull's eye on it -- around it, in terms of its importance to the election.
So, again, it doesn't preclude -- again, it doesn't -- doing well on February 5th doesn't preclude trying to do well in the early states, nor being aware of the states that come after February 5th because, again, you still could have multiple candidates in the field on February 5th and, conceivably, it may not be done on February 5th, in terms of an obvious candidate.
So, I think, again, it's more of a recognition, in terms of this being longer than -- a longer-term election than just two or three states.
In terms of our strategy and campaigning for them, obviously, Mayor Giuliani spent a considerable amount of time in California early in the campaign.
And we've spent a considerable time down in Florida. He's in Missouri today.
But obviously, if you look at where we've been, we've obviously spent an awful lot of time in New Hampshire and Iowa and South Carolina as well.
So, again, I think that bears out our recognition that this is -- it is not necessarily the traditional way. You know, conventional wisdom has never guided this campaign. Obviously, this is not the traditional, where it's only been about two or three states, but at the same time, it's not all about one single date, either.
MILLER: Thank you. And we have time for one more question.
QUESTION: I wondered if you could talk a little bit more about Michigan and the degree to which the uncertainty there affects planning at all.
Is Michigan a place that you guys felt like you needed to come away with some delegates, especially if Iowa and New Hampshire don't go particularly well for you, or is that a concern?
DUHAIME: Well, obviously, you know, we're going to, obviously, play -- when the calendar gets set, we're going to figure it out.
And Michigan, obviously -- the uncertainty of Michigan probably affects our campaign, but I'm sure it affects every other campaign as well.
You know, I think, if you just look at trying to figure out whether this is going to be an actual primary or a closed convention, there's an enormous difference in terms of the amount of resources one would have to spent in the state and the amount of time one would have to spend in the state and the opportunity to win.
Obviously, if -- it's, you know, Governor Romney's home state, if it's a closed convention, again, Senator McCain had some strength there, from candidate -- from the campaign in 2000.
Obviously, it's a heck of a lot different than if it's an open primary, where, obviously, the mayor ahead in, I think, it's three out of the last -- I think it's the last three public polls, the mayor's been ahead or doing very well there.
So the uncertainty there certainly plays into whether or not we feel we can play there or we should play there or when we should start playing there.
I think the date -- not only is the process uncertain, the date is uncertain as well. So, obviously, we'll just be in a, kind of, wait and see mode at this point, to see where we are, in terms of Michigan.
MILLER: Thank you, once again, Michael and Brent, and everyone who called in this morning.