Ron Paul Sets Online Fundraising Record
“Ron Paul Raises More Than $4.2 Million,” Jim Kuhnhenn, AP:
Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, aided by an extraordinary outpouring of Internet support Monday, hauled in more than $4.2 million in nearly 24 hours.
Paul, the Texas congressman with a libertarian tilt and an out-of-Iraq pitch, entered heady fundraising territory with a surge of Web-based giving tied to the commemoration of Guy Fawkes Day. Fawkes was a British mercenary who failed in his attempt to kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605. He also was the model for the protagonist in the movie “V for Vendetta.” Paul backers motivated donors on the Internet with mashed-up clips of the film on the online video site YouTube as well as the Guy Fawkes Day refrain: “Remember, remember the 5th of November.”
Paul’s total deposed Mitt Romney as the single-day fundraising record holder in the Republican presidential field. When it comes to sums amassed in one day, Paul now ranks only behind Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, who raised nearly $6.2 million on June 30, and Barack Obama.
Paul spokesman Jesse Benton said the effort began independently about two months ago at the hands of Paul’s backers. He said Paul picked up on the movement, mentioning in it speeches and interviews. “It’s been kind of building up virally,” Benton said.
The $4.2 million represented online contributions from more than 37,000 donors, fundraising director Jonathan Bydlak said Monday night.
Paul has been lagging in the polls behind Republican front-runners. But he captured national attention at the end of September when he reported raising $5.2 million in three months, putting him fourth among Republican presidential candidates in fundraising for the quarter. Paul as of Monday had raised more than $7 million since Oct. 1, more than half his goal of $12 million by the end of the year, according to his Web site.
Paul advocates limited government and low taxes like other Republicans, but he stands alone as the only GOP presidential candidate opposed to the Iraq war. He also has opposed Bush administration security measures that he says encroach on civil liberties.
“Ron Paul Raises More Than $4 Million in One Day,” David Kirkpatrick, NYT.
Historians and British schoolchildren remember Guy Fawkes as the Roman Catholic, anti-Protestant rebel who on Nov. 5, 1605, tried to assassinate King James I by blowing up the Parliament. Supporters of the Republican primary campaign of the libertarian Representative Ron Paul may remember Fawkes as a wildly successful fund-raising gimmick.
Mr. Benton clarified that Mr. Paul did not support blowing up government buildings. “He wants to demolish things like the Department of Education,” Mr. Benton said, “but we can do that very peacefully, in a constructive manner.”
Thanks for clearing that up!
“Ron Paul says he’s broken one-day online fundraising record,” Mark Memmott and Jill Lawrence, USA Today OnPolitics.
Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian Republican presidential candidate from Texas, says today that he’s broken a record: the record for online fundraising in a single day during the pre-convention primary process.
According to Paul’s campaign, he raised more than $2.7 million online in 16 hours that ended at 4 p.m. ET. The campaign called that “the largest single-day online primary fundraising effort by a presidential candidate in United States election history.”
“Ron Paul’s ‘money bomb,’ records and lessons,” Mark Silva, Chicago Tribune‘s The Swamp blog.
That so many people have invested so much in someone who stands such little apparent chance of winning his party’s presidential nomination, let alone the White House, speaks volumes about alienation in modern American politics.
It is the same alienation that once handed H. Ross Perot close to 20 percent of the presidential vote. It is the same alienation that handed Ralph Nader just enough of the vote to deny Democrat Al Gore an Electoral College victory to accompany his popular-vote majority.
It is people voting for someone other than the establishment, odds be damned.
In one day, the Paul campaign asserts, about 25,000 supporters had contributed to the building of the “money bomb.”
This is the bombshell which Paul suggests he needs to convince “the mainstream media’’ that he is a real candidate.
There’s one problem with this financial calculation. There are only so many times that the same 25,000 people can contribute — an equation which Democrat Howard Dean encountered, in somewhat larger numbers, albeit with the same ultimate result, in 2004 — and it’s unlikely that all of them live in Iowa, or in New Hampshire, where money might translate into the votes necessary to catapult someone into the second stage of the primaries.
Dean ran up record-breaking fundraising tallies in his upstart — and also anti-war — campaign for president. But his campaign was undone literally overnight by an under-performing turnout in the Iowa caucuses, and finished off with his own scream heard ’round the world.
“Ron Paul’s Cash Flow,” Stephen Dinan, national political reporter, The Washington Times:
At this point, Paul’s ability to raise money is not in question. But his skill in translating that sizable campaign treasury into voters at the caucuses and primaries still is.
Rasmussen Reports’ seven-day tracking poll ending Nov. 4 shows Paul garnering 3 percent of likely Republican voters, the same as fellow Rep. Tom Tancredo. Paul’s campaign says polls are a poor predictor of his voters’ support.
“Another Ron Paul Surge,” Dave Weigel, Reason :
Even if you don’t like Paul, you have to gasp at what’s happening in the GOP race. There are three phenomenons running in tandem: Paul’s fundraising, Huckabee’s cash-strapped poll surge, and McCain’s running-on-fumes poll comeback. Anybody working for the Rudy-Fred-Mitt power trio has to wonder why the Republican base is so hungry for these other choices. (Also, more reason to ignore the campaign finance reformers who whine about big money trumping ideas and good people in politics.)
“Ron Paul’s Record Online Haul,” Jose Antonio Vargas, WaPo‘s The Trail blog:
Today, Nov. 5, marks not only Paul’s best fundraising haul in a single day — approximately $3.75 million by 11 p.m. EST — but online observers say it’s also the most money raised by a candidate on the Web in a single day. And the day’s not over yet. “Damn. Wow. Um, that’s pretty awesome,” said a stunned Jerome Armstrong who served as Howard Dean’s online strategist. Armstrong, the founder of the popular blog MyDD, said Dean raised as much as $700,000 in one day toward the end of the primary race. “But not a million,” Armstrong added. “What Paul is doing — or what his supporters are doing — is really impressive.”
Paul supporter Avery Knapp Jr., guesting at TechPresident, explains “The Power of Flashmob Fundraising.”
People respond well to seeing their names up in lights on their hero’s campaign website and getting immediate feedback about their contributions. At a recent lecture showing the rolling names of donors projected behind the lecturer, the author and his girlfriend were tempted enough to donate using a blackberry and cheer in the back; the lecturer mistakenly thought the cheers were for his speech. Perhaps this feedback is a reason the open-source approach to presidential fundraising is likely to continue and increase. Perhaps one day the Federal Election Commission monitoring of election finances won’t even be necessary as campaigns will make all fundraising data public.
I tend to agree with Silva that, as impressive as it is to harness to thrill of a focused event and the enthusiasm of a hard core of supporters, it’s unlikely that this haul will catapult Paul into serious contention for the Republican nomination. There just aren’t enough people who truly want to do things like shut down the Department of Education. Still, the viral nature of this will at least allow him a window for making that case.