November 20, 2007

Team Giuliani Conference Call: Live Blog (Update: Youngsters For Rudy?)

This conference call actually involves the Giuliani campaign in Iowa, introducing Rep. Pete King as one member of Rudy's team in the key state. The chair of the House Homeland Security panel wanted to talk about illegal immigration, and especially Mitt Romney's latest attacks. King says that Romney's plans to use state troopers to combat illegal immigration never got implemented. He also noted that Romney's lack of action came after 9/11, apparently a pre-emptive strike on the reciprocal criticism of Giuliani's statements during his term of office.


* Iowa wants to know about the NAFTA superhighway coming through the state -- Giuliani will not support any kind of NAFTA superhighway, anywhere.

* Can you contrast the differences between Romney and Giuliani on the illegals already here? -- King mostly just talked about closing the border, both for security and to restore faith in federal government. No legalization without closing the border -- but that doesn't keep legalization off the table.

* Giuliani appears to be stepping up the effort in Iowa -- The Giuliani campaign notes that Romney spent a lot of money early in Iowa to build a big lead. They think they can steal his momentum with a late surge in advertising and GOTV efforts.

It was a pretty short call -- no more than 10 minutes. I'm not really certain why they held the call at all, with time for only three questions from the conference.

UPDATE: This should have been addressed in the conference call. Apparently, Rudy is impressing the younger voters:

• Giuliani has better prospects in the general election than his GOP rivals. Pollster Scott Rasmussen says the New Yorker has consistently outperformed other Republicans among voters ages 18 to 29.

Although no Republican beats Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in hypothetical matchups between leading GOP and Democratic presidential contenders with young voters, Giuliani is the only Republican who wins head-to-head contests against Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.

• Giuliani’s moderate social record may explain why his younger supporters skew female more than those of other Republicans. “I consider myself a conservative, but I do have more moderate leanings, and [Giuliani] embodies some of that,” said Holly Stone, 26, a state employee in Tallahassee, Fla. “Some of the other, more conservative, candidates make abortion too much of an issue.”

This dynamic may come more from a frustration with hard partisanship for most of these voters' lives. The past 20 years have seen bitter and sometimes senseless partisanship, an era that began with the shameful treatment of Judge Robert Bork and continued through administrations of both parties. One could call this the Rodney King Generation, asking why we can't all just get along.

Moderates will do better in these demographics. The real question is whether it matters. Every cycle, people look at the youth vote, and every cycle, they supposedly represent the most critical resource for both parties. Yet in every cycle, they mostly remain apathetic and avoid voting altogether.


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