Rudy Giuliani’s campaign released its 4th quarter fundraising figures today, which show that Mr. 9/11 spent $48.9 million through last December 31. In light of that figure (which of course does not include millions of dollars more that Giuliani spent during the past month), let’s review the collapse of Rudy’s campaign, which ranks as one of the most spectacular political humiliations in recent American history.
Rudy, the long-time GOP frontrunner, debuted with voters on January 3 in Iowa. He won 3 percent support (4,097 voters) to finish 6th, trouncing Duncan Hunter by a margin of 8 to 1–but unfortunately losing to everyone else on the ballot, including Ron Paul, who beat him by almost 3 to 1. At the Wyoming county conventions two days later, Rudy tied for last with 0 percent of the vote. (Wyoming did not release vote totals, only percentages.)
Next up was New Hampshire, where Rudy rocketed to a 9 percent share of the vote, good enough for fourth place. In Michigan, he dropped to 3 percent and took 6th place, again finishing well ahead of Hunter and narrowly edging out “Uncommitted” (who had two percent) as well.
In Nevada on January 19th Rudy took 6th again, with 4 percent of the vote. A week later he polled two percent in South Carolina, securing 6th again. Then came Florida, where he delivered his peak performance, winning 3rd place with 15 percent.
Now let’s summarize:
- Rudy won exactly one delegate (in Nevada).
- Rudy’s average share of the vote in the seven states he competed in was 5.14 percent.
- Rudy won a total of 342,357 votes, roughly the population of Arlington, Texas. If Florida is excluded, just for fun, that number falls to 60,602–and that six-state total is about equal to the number of students who attend Arizona State University.
Rudy spent $142.83 for every vote he received. And again, that is based on campaign spending only through December 31. The real number will go higher when 2008 spending figures are released.
All of this puts Rudy in a league with Phil Gramm and John Connally, two past lavishly financed GOP presidential flameouts (in 1996 and 1980, respectively). But Rudy’s crash was even more stunning. Gramm and Connally were both deemed to be serious contenders, but neither was ever anointed the decisive frontrunner like Rudy.
Farewell, Rudy. You won’t, it seems, be missed.