Wired blogger Sarah Lai Stirland reports on Ron Paul 3Q fundraising

“Internet Candidate,” Fund Raising Outpaces Better-Known Rivals in last-minute 3Q Dash


By Sarah Lai Stirland September 30, 2007 6:42:13 PM

Ron Paul, the Republican congressman from Texas, has raised more than a million dollars this week from his supporters, much of that through the Internet.

Fund raising is a key barometer by which the political world measures a candidate’s campaign success. Up until now, Paul has been noted as a long-shot candidate because of his low polling numbers.

Paul’s campaign had originally set itself a goal of raising $500,000 by the end of the third quarter, which is midnight this Sunday, September 30th. It had quickly approached that number by late in this week — the campaign broke the $1 million mark by Saturday evening. Paul’s million dollar week exceeds the cash that rival Republican candidate Mike Huckabee., Arkansas’ former governor, was able to raise in the first and second quarters respectively.

Meanwhile, John Edwards’ senior campaign advisor Joe Trippi sent out a note to supporters Sunday evening asking them to top up their pledges to reach the $1 million online fund-raising goal that the campaign had set 10 days ago. The e-mail said that the Edwards campaign had, at the time the note was sent out, almost reached the goal. It had raised almost $921,000 online.

In the meantime, Republican contender and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson’s campaign reported that it had raised a total of $8 million for the third quarter. Both Illinois and New York Democratic senators Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are expected to report raising about $20 million each for the entire third quarter, according to Bloomberg News.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who announced Saturday evening that he wouldn’t run for president, pointed to Obama’s campaign during his announcement on Fox News, and said that Republicans need to wise up.

“They have to find a way to appeal through the Internet and other devices to millions and millions of Americans, and get out of the tired old fund raising cycle,” he said.

“You look at what Barack Obama has done, I believe this quarter, he will actually have more donors than all of the Republicans combined.

As someone who believes in looking honestly at this process, there’s a lesson there that every Republican should think about very deeply.”

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