donald trump caricature flickr cc

Well, Donald Trump is back on Twitter and is trying desperately to spin his humiliating finish in Iowa into a glorious underdog victory. What is really a surprise is that Trump is crediting his own crappy strategic judgment for his defeat.

Really? Who told him that? Has he yelled "You're fired!" yet? This is an obvious lie. In the week or so leading up to the Iowa Caucuses, Trump was telling us how he was kicking ass and taking names. For instance:

and

There are a lot more, but I'm not Twitchy. So what kind of businessman looks at all the market research that shows he is winning in a big way and then cut his investment? Well, someone with Trump's history of bankruptcy and business failure. Seriously, is this the judgment you want in a president? It is Hillary-esque in its boneheadedness.

Long shot? Really? This is the guy who was leading in the RCP average:

rcp iowa final

Let's review the bidding on spending:

iowa ad spending

Trump did spend a "fraction" of what Cruz and Rubio spent. He spent about half of Cruz's expenditures and nearly a quarter of Rubio's. The difference being that all the money Trump spent was his own. Not so with the other candidates. But Trump's strategy relies upon earned media, not paid media. So his decision to not spend money to lock up a critical early state win has come back to haunt him. Yet another terrible business decision by Trump.

This explains why he didn't spend more money. He had to loan his campaign ~$11 million in the last quarter because his fundraising is basically limited to selling cheap China-made hats. Like most rich guys, he doesn't like to spend his own money especially when there is no return on investment likely. Trump is reaching the crunch point, and it will hammer him hard in March, where he is going to have to shell out tens of millions of his own money otherwise he is simply not going to be able to compete. If it isn't "worth it" now, it definitely won't be worth it after the SEC primary.