giulianiflorida.jpgFormer New York City Mayor and Presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani is finding that his campaign for highest office is foundering in Florida--the state that his campaign has identified as a crucial crucible. The primary vote in the Sunshine State will occur on Jan. 29, and with approximately six weeks to go, Rudy's trailing competitors Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. According to a survey conducted by pollster Scott Rasmussen, Romney is tallying 27% support, followed by Huckabee with 23%, and then Giuliani with 19%. Giuliani's organization dismissed the results of the Rasmussen poll as unreliable.

In a Florida address, Giuliani admitted that he was not a perfect candidate, nor was anyone else. He added that he was the individual best suited to deal with issues like terrorism and illegal immigration.

Giuliani selected Florida for his ballyhooed address because Team Rudy considers the state, with its Jan. 29 primary, his "firewall" for victory should he lose several early-voting states.

Giuliani's campaign has been dogged by accusations of impropriety involving using taxpayer-funded police details to squire his mistress--now current wife--around town while he was the mayor of New York.

His close personal and professional relationship with former Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik has not been helping him either. Kerik is being investigated for unsavory relationships with companies linked to organized crime, as well as somewhat shady conduct with a Manhattan publishing executive and an apartment meant to be used as a house of respite for 9/11 recovery workers.

(Photo of Giuliani in Iowa, Charlie Nelbergall/AP)