DUBUQUE, Iowa -- No one thinks Rudy Giuliani is going to pull any surprises in the Iowa Republican caucuses Thursday.
He will lose.
He will lose badly -- behind-Mike-Huckabee badly, behind-Mitt-Romney badly, behind-John-McCain badly, maybe even behind-Ron-Paul badly.
Giuliani knows this. And now we know that he knows it.
The man who continues to lead in most national polls of Republicans won't be anywhere near Iowa on caucus night. He won't even be in the first-primary state of New Hampshire, which will vote a week from Tuesday and where his prospects are only marginally better than in the first-caucus state.
Giuliani's schedule for caucus night has him in south Florida.
Why? Giuliani is betting -- hoping, actually -- that Huckabee will prevail in Iowa. He is betting that either Romney or the surging McCain will win in New Hampshire. He is ceding South Carolina to Huckabee and Nevada to Romney.
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