by David Helfenbein You may have heard it already on msnbc: former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani placed first in a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, garnering 16 percent of the vote, followed close behind by former Governor Mitt Romney with 15 percent and former Governor Sarah Palin with 13 percent. Placing high in these polls should be familiar for Giuliani: he was a leader in the polls leading up to the 2008 Republican caucuses and primaries. His campaign strategy was to devote a majority of energy and resources toward Florida, which turned out to be unsuccessful. Typically national polling is based primarily upon name recognition. So former Mayor Giuliani's sudden rise does not necessarily mean that he has taken the lead in the race for the Republican nomination. Iowa and New Hampshire are still the first-in-the-nation states and these states are states in which retail politics matter. Without Mike Huckabee and Donald Trump in the race, a sudden rise of Giuliani would therefore make sense.