- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2007

Republican front-runner Rudolph W. Giuliani is making a new pitch to Republicans that he — and only he — can defeat the leading Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in the 2008 election.

Holding a strong national poll lead against his party rivals, the former New York City mayor is already setting his sights on the New York senator, telling supporters that the presidential electoral map gives him a decided edge against the Democrat.

“There is no candidate that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats fear more in the general election than Rudy Giuliani,” the candidate’s strategist, Brent Seaborn, wrote to supporters in a recent e-mail.

The mailing included a series of election maps comparing how Mr. Giuliani would fare against Mrs. Clinton, compared with his Republican rivals. One electoral map shows Mr. Giuliani pulling in a guaranteed 210 electoral votes against Mrs. Clinton. While still 60 short of the necessary 270 votes, the map shows Mrs. Clinton will be guaranteed wins in only Massachusetts and Vermont — just 15 electoral votes.

“If Rudy is the nominee, Democrats will be forced to spend money in California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, New York and Washington — states that they have spent almost no money in over the last few election cycles,” Mr. Seaborn writes.

His theoretical map means that Democrats would have to spend more time and money in those traditionally Democratic-leaning states and less time in swing states, such as Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and Iowa.

The Clinton campaign said that “it sounds like the mayor is using the fantasyland map.”

“In the real world, Senator Clinton beats Mr. Giuliani nationally and in swing states like Florida and Ohio,” said chief Clinton spokesman Phil Singer. “Just today, there’s a new poll out showing Senator Clinton beating him in New York by 11 points.”

In New Hampshire yesterday, Mr. Giuliani compared Mrs. Clinton to 1972 Democratic nominee George McGovern, who lost badly to Richard Nixon. He also alluded to an appearance this past spring in Selma, Ala., in which she slipped into what sounded like a Southern accent before a largely black audience.

Asked by reporters whether he can win religious conservative votes, Mr. Giuliani said: “I don’t have a different program for one group or another. I don’t have a different accent for different parts of the country.”

Mr. Giuliani trails former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in New Hampshire, the first primary state, but the former mayor yesterday began new radio ads there to close the gap that emphasize his fiscal conservatism and strong response to the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

Of course, his rivals say he is not the only Republican contender who can defeat a Democrat.

Sen. John McCain’s spokesman, Brooke Buchanan, said yesterday that the Arizona senator’s “unmatched foreign policy experience and demonstrated broad appeal make him the best candidate to win in the general election.”

Romney spokesman Kevin Madden said “The big question for Republican voters and activists face will be whether they want to nominate a candidate who is a Republican on only a few issues, instead of all of them.”

But Democratic strategist Mary Anne Marsh said Mr. Giuliani is uniquely positioned for the general election.

“The majority of voters are just right of center in presidential elections. Rudy Giuliani comes the closest to being just right of center in the current Republican field,” she said.

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