Comella calls it "maximizing his time."
That seems to be Giuliani's challenge right now.
He has spent scant time in Iowa, where voters are used to being personally courted by candidates.
Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 9, Giuliani spent 17 days in the state, while Huckabee spent 47 days and Romney more than two months there, according to the Iowa Democratic Party, which tallies candidate visits.
"It's a joke," said Carrie Giddins, the party's spokeswoman. "He hasn't spent the time or made the effort in Iowa to be a serious contender in the Iowa caucuses. He has done the bare minimum to not have a bad story written about him."
But his campaign staff is urgently reaching out to Iowans. Caucus-training sessions to mobilize voters have been held across the state. The candidate has filled household mailboxes with at least a dozen different glossy mailers. Volunteers have made more than 200,000 phone calls to potential voters.
In New Hampshire meanwhile, Giuliani told workers at Goss International in Durham on Monday that he planned to spend a lot of time in the state between now and the Jan. 8 primary. While that may be true, Scala said, the perception exists that hasn't thrown himself into New Hampshire wholeheartedly.
"Mitt Romney has covered the state like a blanket all year, and McCain has been working the state as well. While Giuliani doesn't turn off voters -- that's been Fred Thompson's job -- he is somewhere in the middle," Scala said. "And he's having trouble breaking through."
It's easy to see why Giuliani is pinning his hopes on Florida, a place teeming with ex-New Yorkers like Maureen Valella, 41, who brought her 10-year-old son, Mickey, to see him in Tampa on Saturday. Valella and her husband, who own a limousine company, moved to Florida from New York in early 2001. She loves the former mayor, she said, because of what he did for the city before Sept. 11.
"New York City was so dangerous, even the good areas," she said. "As soon as he became mayor, there was a police officer on every corner just to make a statement. The city was disgusting, and Rudy fixed it."
Times staff writer Seema Mehta in Des Moines contributed to this report.