Now He Has Money, Too ...

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Oct 03, 2007 4:38 PM

From ABC News Political Radar Blog:

It dominated headlines yesterday when Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, announced her campaign juggernaut had outpaced all rivals in the campaign fundraising horse race with a $27 million haul in the third quarter.

Today's fundraising announcement by Rep. Ron Paul, the Republican Libertarian ob-gyn from Texas, doesn't involve quite as much money, but is downright jaw-dropping.

His campaign is revealing today that in the 3rd quarter Paul raised $5,080,000. This is more than double his 2nd quarter figure of $2.4 million and no small sum for an insurgent campaign.

Mike Huckabee is said to be in the second tier, yet Ron Paul just raised five times as much money as him this quarter. If you think of it, the only real evidence that Huckabee deserves to be in the 2nd tier -- and that Paul doesn't -- is that Mike Huckabee did well in the Iowa Straw poll -- and that he has done well in debates. It's hard to measure debate performance, though, so the only concrete metric has been Iowa. Well, now Ron Paul supporters can point to money and excitement as two reasons Ron Paul should be taken seriously ...

Money may give you credibility in politics, but money coupled with enthusiasm gives you a movement. Nobody doubts the energy and enthusiasm of Ron Paul's supporters.  And in a small state like New Hampshire, having lots of enthusiastic supporters on the ground can make a difference.  ... And let's not forget the fact that New Hampshire likes to help revolutionary candidates like Pat Buchanan, for example.

... So how did Ron Paul raise all this money? My guess is mostly mail, and a little internet.

For years now, Ron Paul has had a very sophisticated direct mail fundraising program.  This form of fundraising initially has very high over-head and often loses money in the early stages. But the investments pay off later (in fact, the early stages are actually called "prospecting" because you are spending money to find donors.)

Once a candidate has built up a list of proven personal donors (known in the business as a "house file") it is virtually guaranteed to turn a profit every time the candidate mails the list. In short, unlike other candidates who had to create a fundraising plan from scratch, Paul has been building this infrastructure for years.

In addition to raising money, as John McCain learned, it is also important to keep it. Paul has wisely been miserly with his money. Last time I looked at his report (this Spring), he had only one paid employee.

Is there more to the Ron Paul story?