Opinion: Breaking News: Ron Paul campaign donors set a record


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Well, it looks like Ron Paul, the 10-term Republican congressman from Texas with the libertarian ideas, and his brave band of fervent followers have broken their own one-day online fundraising record.

Back in November, the Paul campaign reported raising $4.2 million online in one day with what they call a ‘money bomb,’ a fundraising gimmick devised by Trevor Lyman, a musician and self-appointed Paul fundraiser profiled by The Times’ Dan Morain yesterday. Sunday’s gimmick was to celebrate the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party on a website with a drawing of Paul that looks remarkably like that president on the penny.


As of shortly after midnight Sunday Pacific time, the Paul website was reporting more than $6 million raised on Sunday from more than 30,000 donors and an amazing fourth-quarter fundraising total surpassing $18.1 million. The little-known pro-life Texan, who favors abolishing much of the federal government and the Federal Reserve, could raise the most money of any Republican candidate this quarter. A spokesman said the average donation was $50.

If the reported number holds up when officially reported to the Federal Election Commission in early January, Paul will not only be the only Republican candidate to oppose the Iraq war, he’ll be the only GOP candidate to increase fundraising totals each quarter this year -- from $640,000 to $2.4 million to $5.1 million to whatever this quarter’s final total becomes above $18 million with two weeks to go.

Although Paul’s poll numbers have only climbed from zero to the high single digits, the fundraising totals (he raised five times as much as Mike Huckabee in the third quarter) have brought ‘the Ron Paul Revolution’ broader attention and credibility and the ability to advertise in the early voting states. With the funds his campaign has, among other things, produced a 30-minute TV biographical documentary to be broadcast across Iowa this coming weekend and available online here. Next Sunday morning a network TV audience will get a chance to see him grilled by Tim Russert for a full hour on ‘Meet the Press.’

His legions of alert supporters scour the Internet for slights to right, frequently crudely, and any opportunities to promote their strict constructionist candidate. They dismiss the polls as slanted and the money-raising as the real indicator of the 72-year-old ob-gyn’s growing national support among disaffected Republicans, Democrats and previous non-voters. The Times’ James Rainey examined one Southern California meet-up group for Paul here.

We’ve written about these supporters here and examined hundreds of their comments here. No doubt there’ll be some more to read down below here shortly.

-- Andrew Malcolm