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Paul's Numbers Show His Online Appeal

All that online popularity-- on YouTube, MySpace, Eventful, et al -- is translating to a lot more money than anyone had anticipated.

Last week Rep. Ron Paul surprised the Republican field by raising $5.1 million in the third-quarter fundraising cycle, at least 70 percent of it from online donations. Figures provided by his campaign to The Trail shows that the Texas congressman, who is nowhere near the top of national GOP polls, attracted 17,461 new donors from July to September. (A point of comparison: Aides to Mitt Romney, who leads in the early voting states of New Hampshire and Iowa, said the former Massachusetts governor brought in 23,000 new donors in the third quarter.)

Some 21,642 donors gave money to Paul's coffers last quarter, with the average donation of $94.38 and the median donation of $45.52, said campaign spokesman Jesse Benton.

Unlike the rest of the GOP field, Paul has consistently improved on his fundraising with each quarter. He raised $640,000 in the first quarter, $2.4 million in the second now $5.1 million. With $5.3 million cash on hand, Paul has more money than Sen. John McCain, who has $3.6 million, and significantly outraised former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee and Rep. Tom Tancredo, both of whom received more air-time in Tuesday's Republican debate, as Paul's online supporters have quickly pointed out.

And Paul's campaign is upping the ante: to raise $12 million by December 31.

As of Thursday afternoon, on Oct. 11, he's brought in $633,000.

"We're making our goal public, and that's pretty gutsy," Benton told The Trail. "But we realize that raising that much money is what it's going to take to wage a national campaign."

-- Jose Antonio Vargas

By Washington Post Editor  |  October 12, 2007; 12:01 AM ET
Categories:  B_Blog , Ron Paul  
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Comments

Prediction: I feel confident we will all be saying President Paul soon. Another thing, let's get together and create a platform for online voting so every American can have a secure private link to cast their ballot. The counties have been given ample time to get their act together. Times up! We can easily clean that mess up. Pont an click.

Posted by: chock29 | November 11, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

As a former immigrant from socialist eastern Europe I am witnessing with great disappointment how year after year this country is sliding toward soft version of socialism with its big government, dysfunctional economy, "fixed" monetary system and deteriorating individual freedoms.
Ron Paul is the only candidate who may address these issues. The rest of presidential "hopefuls" on both sides seem to have no problem selling the Constitution and the principals which created this country for power and/or money.

While I don't agree with Ron Paul on many issues, he is the only candidate who I do not have to agree with in order to live my life the way I want to.
He seems to be the only candidate who will not try to get into my pocket using IRS and Federal Reserve, tell me what to do with my retirement, medical insurance and undermine my first and second amendment rights. And he also seems to be one of the very few decent people left on Capitol Hill.

Posted by: washingtonpost | October 13, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

antonucci_john-- Just register as a republican ASAP. Every vote counts! :)

Posted by: thisproduct7 | October 13, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

I am a registered republican who voted for Gearge Bush in his first term - not the second.
I am voting Ron Paul!
He is the only true republican in the field.

Posted by: chld_unvrs | October 13, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

Its nice to know there is still a market for canidates who are not poll tested or scared to speak the truth even if offends some people. I'm a Democrat and probably can't vote for Mr Paul. But he certainly is a breath of fresh air for BOTH parties. Go Ron

Posted by: antonucci_john | October 13, 2007 9:33 AM | Report abuse

Oops! ha!! Sorry jeffreyfhill. I meant Mr. Nospam3!

Posted by: autofyrsto | October 13, 2007 3:14 AM | Report abuse

"Libertarians and Greens can always be counted upon to waste their money on losing candidates. With the money they spend, they could cure a rare disease or perhaps even come out with a shiny new social networking site."
----------------------------
I love these people who come around and try to tell you that you should be supporting the candidates you think are most likely to win.

I wish there was a spot on the ballot where people like jefferyfhill could cast their votes for Mr. Who-Cares-I'll-Just-Go-Along-With-The-Majority and leave the rest of us free-thinking individuals to vote for RON PAUL.

Posted by: autofyrsto | October 13, 2007 3:10 AM | Report abuse

The inane comment that making a political donation to a candidate that does not win the election is wasting money is part of a greater problem in some people's mentality concerning American elections.

These people, including most of the media, tend to look at elections as a horse race--which is, of course, the media's favorite metaphor--but a race where only a winning bet pays off, and not a "place" or a "show." Indeed, they use the metaphor all the time, but can't even use it accurately.

As a result, we the voters are bombarded with polls, polls, and more polls, until most actually believe that there is some inherent value in them, and even end up voting according to the ways the polls have influenced them, like: "I ought to vote for the front-runner, because otherwise I'm likely to just be wasting my vote." If you vote for who doesn't win, the "loser", then you are a "loser" too? The true losers are those who don't vote at all.

Under the electoral college system, however, I do agree that your vote can truly be "wasted." For example, in the last election it was clear that Bush would carry the state of Texas, no doubt at all. So all those who voted for Kerry, if effect, did not have their vote count for anything, except perhaps ironically that they helped confirm that the only votes that counted--the electorals--would go to the person they voted against.

The electoral college system is also a way to keep any third party out of the American way of "democracy." If you remember 1992, Ross Perot [admittedly, a flake] got nearly 20% of the popular vote--nearly one voter in every 5 chose him. But the electoral college system made certain that his votes were the equivalent of those people not having voted at all.

And let us not mention election year 2000.

The messages of Ron Paul's campaign, whether you agree with them or not, are worthy of consideration by every voter who actually thinks!

Posted by: radicalpatriot | October 12, 2007 1:58 PM | Report abuse

"Libertarians and Greens can always be counted upon to waste their money on losing candidates. With the money they spend, they could cure a rare disease or perhaps even come out with a shiny new social networking site."
--------------
Libertarians make up only a fraction of Ron Paul's support. Most of it is conservative Republicans and anti-war independents, with a few Democrats and Greens who value peace and civil liberties over government spending.

If you're concerned about wasted political donations, talk to the Clinton/Obama/Giuliani/Romney donors. At least 3 of them are going to lose, so all their donations are truly wasted.

Posted by: drd6000 | October 12, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Being a longtime fan of Ron Paul, I am so excited that he is finally running for President when I can vote for him. I am sending him a donation today. He is the only candidate addressing the fiscal policy that has been ruining our "money" for decades. Ron Paul is also the only one telling America that the federal government has been ignoring our Constitution (and its system of checks and balances), and that this is the reason why the middle class is getting poorer and growing more dependent on government.

Why people believe the government when it says, "Give me your hard-earned money and you'll be better off for it," I don't know.

Also, why people seem to believe an election is decided before the first vote is even cast is beyond me. People have become sheep in this country. They watch the media driven debates and polls on television and step into the voting booth and say, "Well, I guess I'll vote for candidate "X". That's who they tell me is going to win, anyway. Might as well vote for a winner." Votes are not bets.

You're not voting on who you think the winner will be; your vote ACTIVELY DETERMINES the winner.

Ron Paul is my guy. He's true. As President, he'll be true to this country. And, once elected President, we'll all be the winners of this race.

Posted by: kpwalden3 | October 12, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I think the rest of the field should start to worry about Ron Paul's off-line appeal: he has 53,000 volunteers signed up, meeting in real life in close to 1,000 Meetup groups around the country.

He has drawn crowds of over 1,000 at rallies across the country, from Iowa to South Carolina to California to Washington to Utah to Illinois to Tennessee.

Rather than asking if Ron Paul's online appeal can translate into votes, maybe they should be asking if Rudy Giuliani's name recognition in random telephone surveys can translate into votes. Ron Paul's people are going to turn out for the primaries.

Posted by: drd6000 | October 12, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I am actively involved in a presidential campaign for the first time in my life. Ron Paul is someone I've admired for over 20 years and I firmly believe he is the last chance to restore the constitutional republic our founders started as the "Great Experiment". He is the only statesman in the lot, on either side, and he represents the very spirit of this nation.

Posted by: skefboomer | October 12, 2007 12:13 PM | Report abuse

The numbers in this article are off, or maybe they're talking about the second quarter. 21,642 donors at an average of $94.38 is only around 2 million, not 5.1 million.

The real number of donors has to be over 50,000 if the average is under $100.

I had heard that the average donation was around $40, but I guess they were talking about the median, not the mean.

Posted by: drd6000 | October 12, 2007 12:12 PM | Report abuse

I first saw Ron Paul in the first Republican debate and he impressed me. After a few more debates I went to his website and contributed $25.00. I plan to contribute another $25.00. I have voted on network Websites showing I thought Ron Paul won the debate. I am on the internet but I have no ties to the Ron Paul people or any other supporters, I just like what he says.

It is funny that the big media companies claim Ron Paul supporters are conspiracy theorists yet it is the media that has a conspiracy belief about Ron Paul supporters. I am NOT part of any young spam effort just one man in his fifties who found a candidate that is true to his beliefs and mine. The major media networks must stop their conspiracy theories about Ron Paul and his supporters and report the facts for a change.

Posted by: info4 | October 12, 2007 12:07 PM | Report abuse

A YouTube video submitted yesterday of Ron Paul is currently the most discussed and also the most highly rated video on the site. It's an 8 minute compilation of Ron Paul TV interviews and debate clips. It is an awesome message every American should see. It's had 170,000 views so far and even has made headline news in a newspaper in Australia. See it at: http://www.youtube.com/browse?s=tr&t=t&c=0&l=

Posted by: DrBrianHorsfield | October 12, 2007 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Someone recently reminded me that when you vote for the lesser of two evils, you still get evil. For the first time in my 60+ years, I'm going to vote FOR someone I truly believe in - Ron Paul!

Posted by: Anntink | October 12, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for this article! You hear over and over how "Republicans have a libertarian streak" and "Democrats have a libertarian streak". Well, shouldn't it be said that "Amerians have a libertarian streak"?? The term "libertarian" is simply a person who prefers liberty over government. These two forces or mutally dependent... as one grows the other must shrink. In a country founded upon the concepts of liberty, the "Land of the Free", wouldn't it make sense that a large number of Americans are beginning to see that government is so out of control that is must be reined in? Ron Paul is the only one in our time who is willing to stand up to the temptations of special interests in order to perform this monumental task. Yes, this IS the most important election in our lives, possibly the last chance to turn this country around from it's freefall to poverty.

Posted by: mitch | October 12, 2007 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I have donated multiple times and do not worry about possibly wasting money on a candidate whom may not win the election. The message Ron Paul is spreading has woken me up. Ron Paul is not afraid to speak up and against issues with our government that I have always disagreed with and until discovering the doctor, have always feared they were to big to be resolved.

We have some conflicting beliefs, but his view that local government should decide law assures me he will not be enforcing his beliefs on the entire country.

Posted by: matthew | October 12, 2007 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Nospam3 -
I'm a conservative Republican & I can't wait to waste some more money on Ron Paul 2008.

I consider the 2008 Presidential Election to be the most important election of my lifetime.

On November 4, 2008 I'm going to vote for Ron Paul even if I have to write him in.

For the first time in my life I'm going to vote FOR something, instead of against the lessor of two evils.

Posted by: grannymiller | October 12, 2007 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Libertarians and Greens can always be counted upon to waste their money on losing candidates. With the money they spend, they could cure a rare disease or perhaps even come out with a shiny new social networking site.

Posted by: nospam3 | October 12, 2007 3:41 AM | Report abuse

I just think it's funny how cnbc thinks there's this "Army" of "normal everyday internet" users "hacking" their political debate polls - is it really a coincidence that the most popular candidate on the internet (and overall), actually does the best on "internet" polls??

While Ron Paul needs some name recognition help with the > 65 crowd - as we'll as the stay at home mom (with no internet access) crowd - I have no doubt he's got over 95% of anyone that has ever taken at least 10-15 minutes of online research. Go Ron Paul.

Posted by: jeffreyfhill | October 12, 2007 2:24 AM | Report abuse

Freedom!
www.ronpaul2008.com

Posted by: tbratton | October 12, 2007 1:56 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for this piece. I suppose it is fair to say that Ron Paul fans are not just a few people who have no life and scam and spam the internet with his message. This article shows that Ron Paul's message is clear and it resonates with many people who get their information from the internet and are not going to rely on an unreliable source of information such as TV, major news outlets, etc..

Posted by: kshutur | October 12, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

The number of individuals with a generally libertarian philosophy is significant and growing in the United States. We have Thomas Jefferson to blame. The libertarian sector has been ignored since Reagan's libertarian rhetoric. These fundraising numbers brings to light the fact that politicians ought to be appealing the libertarian base. It's only going to become more and more influential in elections.

Posted by: devon_black | October 12, 2007 1:11 AM | Report abuse

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