How did the man who took summer polls by storm fall so precipitously in the esteem of GOP voters that he was finished by Florida, the state he chose for his first big victory? It could be the hubris, the inexperienced campaign team, the strategic mistakes—or it could be that "the more Republican voters saw of Mr. Giuliani, the less they wanted to vote for him," conclude Michael Powell and Michael Cooper in the New York Times.
Those early numbers “were built on name recognition and celebrity,” one adviser admits.
It "bordered on science fiction to think that someone as liberal on as many issues as Rudy Giuliani could become the Republican nominee,” said a GOP consultant. When he tried to move to the right, he took “a muddled middle ground that pleased no one,” write Powell and Cooper. And perhaps he sealed his fate by “retreating” to Florida, leaving New Hampshire and Michigan for his rivals to scoop up.