Ron Paul is a money machine as reported by Bloomberg:
Presidential candidate Ron Paul raised almost $20 million for his campaign in the last three months, potentially outpacing every one of his Republican rivals and putting his fundraising in league with Hillary Clinton's.
Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas, raised at least $19.5 million, according to a statement posted on his Web site. His campaign said today that he originally aimed to raise $12 million in the fourth quarter of 2007.
The take puts Paul on par with the top fundraisers in the Democratic Party, who outpaced Republicans last year. The campaign of New York Senator Clinton yesterday said she raised more than $100 million for the year, meaning she brought in at least $20 million in the fourth quarter.
The campaign said he had more than 130,000 donors, of which 107,000 were new contributors. Maybe the Republicans should be trying to figure out how to channel the enthusiasm for Ron Paul into broader support for the party rather than snuff him out?
Lord knows the Republicans need help. As Politico reports the Democratic presidential candidates are smoking the Republicans when it comes to fundraising:
Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, aides said, both raised more than $100 million in 2007, sums that GOP sources say are at least $40 million greater than those of GOP financial leaders Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.
The fact that Ron Paul, as the leading GOP fundraiser, is largely reviled by the Republican establishment and conservative media gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction. It illustrates just how badly fractured the Republican Party is right now with its anti-tax, religious conservative, xenophobic, libertarian and blue blood wings all pulling in different directions.
Meanwhile, the only GOP candidate who has been able to generate any genuine enthusiasm outside of the Republican Party is Ron Paul. That enthusiasm is evident on the ground in states like Iowa and Montana. Jason George blogs that Ron Paul's Des Moines office is running much more smoothly than ostensible front-runner Mike Huckabee:
Huckabee's operation, in contrast, works out of an area a fourth the size of Paul's, with only a fraction of people as well. Also, while Paul's camp has a 15-person phone bank operating 12 hours a day, Huckabee's office has trouble even answering their phones. On more than one occasion recently this reporter has called Huckabee HQ only to find the telephone line -- the main line that a prospective voter or volunteer could call -- picked up by voicemail or not answered at all.
This enthusiasm could translate into a good showing for Paul in Montana which has some odd caucus rules.
What's the response of the Republican Party establishment to all this enthusiasm for Ron Paul? They're attempting to shut him out of the Fox News debate to be held on Sunday. Excluding a candidate who is among the leading (if not the top) fundraiser for the last quarter and has generated enormous enthusiasm is no surprise given that the Republican Party establishment that is utterly disconnected from the American people.
You can go to Ron Paul's website to see how his fundraising is doing this quarter.
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