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Eyeing Feb. 5, Giuliani Visits Missouri

Republican presidential hopeful, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani talks to the media during a campaign stop in Kansas City, Mo., Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2007.
AP
Republican Rudy Giuliani offered a baseball analogy Wednesday to explain his political geography.

Challenging tradition, the presidential hopeful is devoting more of his attention to the delegate-rich Feb. 5 states - some two dozen including New York, California and New Jersey hold primaries and caucuses that day - while spending limited time in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire where he trails his rivals in polls.

On Wednesday, Giuliani traveled to points in Missouri, a Feb. 5 state that has gotten little campaign attention but offers 58 delegates, as many as Iowa and New Hampshire combined.

After meeting with supporters, he spoke to reporters about his strategy.

"A baseball game, you've got to play nine innings and whoever gets the most runs at the end of the nine innings wins," he said. "So here, you've got to play in 29 primaries. Nobody's going to win all of them, that's for sure. I think on the Republican or Democratic side, that has never happened in contested primaries with great candidates. They've never won every single primary."

"You recognize the reality that you aren't going to win all of them. You've got to win most of them, and most of them are coming on Feb. 5," he said.

The traditional political strategy is to go for wins in the early voting states and create momentum to propel a candidate to the nomination. In an unorthodox approach, Giuliani is counting on a fluid GOP race and the possibility that no one candidate will emerge from the early voting.

Giuliani's strategy calls for securing victories in states that vote later and promise huge numbers of delegates to next summer's nominating convention, beginning with Florida on Jan. 29.

The former New York mayor has been the leader in national polls for much of the year, but recently former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has challenged Giuliani's standing.

Huckabee's gains have come as Giuliani has faced a spate of bad news. His longtime friend and former police commissioner, Bernard Kerik, was indicted on federal charges. Then, it was disclosed that as mayor Giuliani billed security expenses to obscure city offices while visiting his current wife as their extramarital affair began. He's also been facing questions anew about his consulting business, Giuliani Partners, whose clients include the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar.