Opinion: Ron Paul reports increased fourth-quarter donations


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As long as we’re blogging about Ron Paul these days, we ought to mention that this afternoon the folks at MSNBC’s First Read reported that Paul raised more than $2.4 million today as part of a push to collect $12 million by Dec. 31.

By tonight, the Paul website was claiming to have raised more than $2.6 million online, shooting for a new one-day online record of more than $3 million. (The Paul website has a table, but getting to it was iffy this afternoon -- they reported bandwidth problems.)


The Texas congressman reports being nearly halfway to the goal already, which means he has raised about as much in the last five weeks as he did in the entire three months ending Sept. 30.

Not bad, and it will put even more financial distance between him and Mike Huckabee, who is still getting more media bites. So the key thing here is to see what Paul does with all this money -- and if it’s enough to get him a little more broad-based traction and poll support. In the Rasmussen daily polls, he hasn’t cracked 3% nationally, compared with 12% for Huckabee and 11% for Mitt Romney. Rudy Giuliani leads with 23%.

The Paulites make a lot of noise about their Internet campaign and grass-roots support, but that’s an awful lot of ground to make up, especially when you look at polls in Iowa, the first state up on the primary-caucus calendar, and where Paul is scoring 1% support. A light showing in the caucuses there could be politically fatal -- particularly since the Iowa caucuses are very responsive to strong grass-roots efforts. And unforgiving of weak ones, despite the passion of his backers.

(UPDATE: Late tonight the Associated Press reported that Paul had raised about $4.2 million in 24 hours from over 22,000 donors to surpass the previous one-day GOP record of $3.1 million by Romney. Hillary Clinton holds the record of nearly $6.2 million on June 30.)

-- Scott Martelle