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Rudy Giuliani’s been leading his Republican opponents in national polls all year. But, now, there’s a wind change in the making.

Mitt Romney – after contributing generously to his own campaign – is running TV and radio ads in New Hampshire and Iowa. And his message is resonating. He now leads Giuliani in both states.

Giuliani also trails former Senator Fred Thompson in South Carolina. And Romney’s on the move there too, buying ads, and asking Warren Tompkins (who directed President Bush’s victory over Senator McCain in South Carolina in 2000) to lead his campaign.

Romney is changing the chemistry of the Republican presidential race. He’s in position to win Iowa and New Hampshire and that momentum could carry him to victory in South Carolina. So far, Giuliani has failed to respond. He may feel he can wait, cede Romney the early lead, then turn the tables late in the campaign. But that’s risky. If Romney sweeps Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina it’s hard to see how Giuliani – or the other candidates – him.

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