Chris Matthews' Giuliani delusion

He's undefeated, except for the ones he didn't win.

Published January 23, 2008 1:48PM (EST)

During the course of his Hillary Clinton mea culpa last week, Chris Matthews said that he doesn't like "saying things carefully."

No kidding.

We can't keep up with all of the not-so-careful things Matthews says, but Think Progress comes close -- and the folks there have just found a doozy. On last night's edition of "Hardball," Matthews declared that "some people think" the Republican presidential race has come down to John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani -- "just because Giuliani hasn't been beaten yet."

Hasn't been beaten yet?

While it's true that Giuliani has put most of his eggs in the Florida basket, it's also true that he has taken a thumpin' pretty much everywhere else. As Think Progress notes, America's Mayor finished fifth in Iowa, fourth in Wyoming, fourth in New Hampshire, sixth in Michigan, sixth in Nevada and sixth in South Carolina.

One other way of looking at it: Giuliani hasn't cracked the 10 percent mark in a single state so far. Another way: Fred Thompson finished ahead of Giuliani in five of the six state contests to date, and he dropped out the race Tuesday.

But there's always Florida, right? Right. In three polls out this week, Giuliani is second, third and fourth, and he doesn't get more than 20 percent of the vote in any of them.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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2008 Elections Rudy Giuliani War Room