Did Rudy Giuliani’s Use of the Mystery Method Cause Him to Blow Out the Election?


Photo Illustration: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images

Employing “Neg Theory” — insulting a woman in order to pique her romantic interest, as defined by the book The Game and the show The Pickup Artist — may work to pick up chicks, but does it work on states? Conventional wisdom would have that the Giuliani campaign’s decision to “neg” the early-primary states, opting out of campaigning in them in favor of wooing larger, delegate-rich states, was what caused his numbers to drop in polls nationwide. He would have done better there, people reasoned, had he, you know, tried. But today’s Wall Street Journal uses market data to analyze how Giuliani went from certain front-runner to “the biggest loser among the mainstream candidates” and finds that Giuliani’s recent decline is due less to his strategy than his “poor campaign.” In other words, the problem was not his game, but his personality. “Unfortunately for Mr. Giuliani,” the Journal concludes, “a candidate who is unpopular in both the early-voting small states and later-voting big states, just can’t win.” No medallions for him, either.

How Rudy’s Bet Went Wrong [WSJ]