Jan. 8, 2008 -- Though former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has generally attributed his fourth place finish in New Hampshire to a campaign strategy that focuses on larger, delegate-rich states holding later contests, statistics compiled by ABC News indicate that he was clearly competing to win in the Granite State as hard -- if not harder -- than many of his rivals.
Statistics compiled by ABC News Political Unit and ABC News' team of off-air reporters indicate that Giuliani held more events in this first-in-the-nation primary state than any other Republican except for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in neighboring Massachusetts. He also spent more on TV ads than anyone except for Romney and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
McCain, who upset then-governor George W. Bush by winning the New Hampshire primary in 2000, repeated that performance, besting the rest of the Republican field, including Romney, who took second place.
Giuliani campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella said she didn't trust ABC News' numbers, and said regardless, the campaign had never downplayed an effort here. "The mayor's always said, Yes, we're making an effort in New Hampshire," she said.
A Herculean Effort in New Hampshire
Before the Iowa caucuses, Giuliani told ABC News that he was campaigning "proportionately throughout the country," meaning that instead of Iowa and New Hampshire he was focusing on Florida, which will hold its primary Jan. 29, and the delegate-rich states such as California and New York holding their contests along with approximately 20 other states on Super Duper Tuesday, Feb. 5.
But Giuliani's effort here has been Herculean. Romney held 176 events in New Hampshire through Tuesday, primary day, while Giuliani held 126. That's considerably more than McCain, who held 104, and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who held 93.
Moreover, Giuliani held more events in New Hampshire than either Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., or Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who are favored to come in first and second (not necessarily in that order) on the Democrats' side.
More Money on More Television Ads
According to the Campaign Media Analysis Group, Giuliani has spent more money on TV ads in New Hampshire -- $2.5 million through Jan. 1, 2008 -- than any other Republican, with the exceptions of Romney ($7.3 million) and McCain ($3.5 million).
GOP rivals Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who remained competitive with Giuliani in these last few weeks, spent $100,000 and less than $1 million on TV ads, respectively.
After downplaying the early states, in the fall when Romney's support in the state began growing soft, Giuliani's campaign indicated he was going to compete here, and spent millions on TV ads.
Campaign Changes Its Tune
But after a few weeks, when his poll numbers traveled downward instead of in the preferred direction, the former mayor's campaign said it would stick with his original plan. In December an anonymous "top Giuliani aide" told The Politico newspaper that the new plan would allow the former mayor's campaign "to marshal our resources for Florida and Feb. 5, while keeping options open for changes in the early states."
This state would seem at first blush to match well with Rudy's message. It's socially libertarian, fiscally conservative and strong on national security. It's Yankee. It's Purple.
Giuliani, a lifelong Yankee fan, said even before the World Series that he would be rooting for the Yankees' mortal enemies, the Boston Red Sox, who have a strong following in New Hampshire, explaining somewhat incredulously that his "tradition has been to root for the American League team, particularly if it's a team that beats the Yankees."
Hearing the constant refrain that their candidate wasn't playing to win here, Giuliani supporters in the state expressed considerable disappointment that the campaign wasn't committed to a win here.
It turns out that Giuliani was plenty committed. It was the voters of New Hampshire who had issues.
ABC News' Teddy Davis and Jan Simmonds contributed to this report.