Ron Paul Tops John McCain in Cash on Hand

Ron Paul reports $2.4 million in cash remaining in his campaign coffers, compared to just $2 million for John McCain.

George Stephanopoulos apparently broke the story:

Though often regarded as a longshot candidate for president, Republican Ron Paul tells ABC News that he has an impressive $2.4 million in cash on hand after raising an equal amount during the second quarter, putting him ahead of one-time Republican frontrunner John McCain, who reported this week he has only $2 million in the bank.

In an exclusive interview taped Friday and airing Sunday on “This Week,” Paul said his campaign is on a better trajectory than McCain’s. “I think some of the candidates are on the down-slope, and we’re on the up-slope,” said Paul.

Paul’s cash on hand puts him in third place in the Republican field in that important metric, although he is well behind leader Rudy Giuliani, who has $18 million in the bank, and Mitt Romney, with $12 million.

Andrew Sullivan and Dave Weigel (despite getting snubbed by Paul) are stoked at the profound implications for the future of good old fashioned small government values.

Yet, while it sounds impressive to say that upstart Paul has more money than former frontrunner McCain, I’m not so sure. CNN’s Alexander Mooney seems to have the real story: “Paul, with only 11 staffers on his campaign, runs a frugal campaign. The Texas Republican rarely travels to key campaign states.”

While McCain’s candidacy is in real trouble and his second quarter fundraising is “disappointing” compared to the other top tier candidates, he still raised $11.2 million compared to Paul’s $2.4 million. It’s just that McCain is actually running a campaign and thus spending money nearly as fast as it comes in. Paul is basically running a Facebook campaign and showing up for debates.

The Hill‘s Klaus Marre reports that, “Paul leads all Republicans in YouTube channel views with nearly 2.1 million, according to the popular video website. The next closest Republican is Romney, who has fewer than 700,000 channel views. Only Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has more among all presidential candidates, with close to 5.2 million.”

Paul is a refreshing candidate and is radically different from anyone else in the field. And he’s generating more buzz than I would have predicted. Still, until he starts approaching McCain in the public opinion polls, let’s not get too awfully excited. After all, the debate performances that have the YouTube crowd flocking to his videos have rendered Paul a nut in the eyes of most of the people who will actually show up to vote in Republican primaries.

It’s incredibly unlikely that either McCain or Paul will get the nomination. If I had to bet on one of them, though, it wouldn’t be Paul.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I don’t think most Ron Paul supporters expect him to get the nomination either, they’re just trying to strike some fear in the hearts of the Republican Party establishment.

  2. Grewgills says:

    A few days ago the debate was over whether or not Paul deserved to be in the debates. Now there is debate about whether he or McCain is the more viable candidate. I think that speaks volumes.

  3. don says:

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”


  4. Bithead says:

    I’m not quite sure what this is indicative of, except perhaps the bump that Paul got from the left just recently being reflected in his donation take, versus the major hit the John McCain justifiably took on the immigration bill.

    Frankly, I won’t get excited about this one, either way. Bottom line: In my judgment, in neither case, do either of these two have any credibility amongst the Republican party.

    It’s been my sense that support for McCain is remarkably soft, as it was during the last presidential cycle. Cross party support was his claim to fame, and McCain lost on it both times. The difference is it didn’t take him quite so long this time.

    Look, let’s face it, the only reason that the left ever latched on to John McCain, is precisely the same reason that they’re latching onto Ron Paul, just now. They figured McCain was a Republican that had creds in the Republican party, and therefore felt more comfortable voting for him, then somebody who was a more overt leftist, such as John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and so on. And, time was, he actually did have some, despite coming down to the left of Bush on many points. McCain’s being a Republican at least in name was fairly attractive to most democrats, in that they could run is named in the noses of most republicans, with the question attached to it, how can you not support one of your own?

    Democrats, you see have never gotten used to the idea of not being in lockstep with their party leadership . Therefore dealing with such matters on the republican side, tends to elude them.

    But when McCain’s idiocy over the immigration bill started to cost him those perceived Republican creds, the Democrats deserted the now sinking ship. Many of them, I suspect, ended up going for Ron Paul.

    I hold no illusions about the possibility of either sweeping both parties to get to the White House. Frankly I’d be uncomfortable if I thought either one of them stood a snowball’s chance. Further, I’ll more than grant that the support Ron Paul, John McCain, or any other Republican gets from rank and file Democrats is going to be fairly thin, as a rule. That’s simply the nature of the game. This decidedly is not another case of the jailbreak that Ronald Reagan caused in two elections… mostly because neither could hold a candle to RR. So I take nothing from the idea of any movement among Democrats to support fringe Republican candidates. Then again, Reagan wasn’t a fringe candidate, either.
    (Boy, there is an unlikely scenario; my putting John McCain and Ron Paul in the same paragraph with Ronald Reagan. Sheesh.)
    But there’s a message here, in this bit of news, apparently addressed to John McCain and his staff; When one of the people generally considered to be the laughingstock of the party out- fundraises you, it’s well past time to start looking for the exits. The game’s over.

  5. Ron Paul’s significance, in any, will be the effect he has on the other candidates. Unlike repeat oath breaker McCain, Paul seems to have some respect for the Constitution and for at least some of the basic principles of the Republican Party.

  6. Jeff Workman says:

    He will outlast McCain and Giuliani.

    Then they’ll stick in Fred Thompson to replace them.

    You wait and see!