Interesting analysis over at LewRockwell.com breaking down Iowa caucus votes per campaign appearances there.
Surprisingly, given the common belief that of course Giuliani did so disastrously in Iowa because he didn't try, he made nearly as many campaign appearances there as McCain did–35 to McCain's 38. And Paul beat Giuliani so thoroughly with far fewer personal apperances–only 27.
In fact, if these judgments were made objectively based on apperance and cash, not just Giuliani partisans' excuses for his dismal showing, it might be Paul, and not Giuliani, who seemed to be barely trying in Iowa. Giuliani, in only the first 9 months of 2007, spent $237,000 in Iowa.
I was unable to get Paul's campaign to respond to a question about how much he spent there in that period, or to find today updated spending numbers for the candidates broken down by state to the caucus day. The official FEC filings for Giuliani and Paul do have categories for "allocations of primary expenditures by state," but both are blank. If any commenters know more on this, have at it. With Giuliani's appearances exceeding Paul's by 30 percent, and Paul doing more than three times as well in the votes, would Paul's spending need to have exceeded Rudy's by more than 300 percent to add believability to the "Rudy did poorly because he didn't try" notion?
One big difference between eccentric loose cannon Paul and highly respectable frontrunner Giuliani is that Paul has oodles of non-campaign workers out there plumping for him, so official campaign cash spent isn't the best measure of real on the ground effort, so I'll give Rudy that.
In votes-per-appearance, Paul pulled 429.5 to Giuliani's 114.6. Only Huckabee beat Paul for votes per appearance.
Here from Media Matters a longer debunking of the "Giuliani didn't try in Iowa" idea.
I think one lesson is that the incredibly extended pre-campaign, with all the requisite predictions and pre-judgements about what is sure to happen, is bad for political analysts' necks, having to snap back so violently from when everyone with any sense knew it would be a Clinton-Giuliani matchup.