Ron Paul's Big Score


Ron Paul's campaign just held a press conference on its third quarter fundraising. The message of the day: Only three Republican campaigns are fiscally secure and fecund, and Paul's is one of them. (The others are Rudy Giuliani's and Fred Thompson's.)

More from Paul fundraising director Jonathan Bydlak…

– They're still counting, but somewhere between 34,000 and 35,000 people donated to Paul last quarter.

– Another rough estimate: Less than 3 percent of Paul donors have maxed out donating to the campaign.

– Only Paul and Sam Brownback carried no debt into the fourth quarter. Brownback only has $94,654 in the bank; Paul has $5.4 million.

Bydlak said the campaign is still aiming to raise $12 million from the start of October to the end of the year, even though only $1 million has been raised this month so far. "If we just kept up this pace we'd raise about $8 million, which is more than last quarter," he told me. "But this doesn't follow that kind of pattern. Look for $3 million this month, $4 million next month, $5 million in December."

This, naturally, prompted some questions (from CBN and MSNBC reporters) about what the campaign will do with its money. "Our focus is on New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, and Nevada," said campaign chairman Kent Snyder. "In that order." On whether the first-time Paul volunteers (55,000 of them coming in from the web) will alienate primary voters the way Howard Dean's young turks did in 2004: "We're mindful of that, and we've got very good people in Iowa, including a chair who just won an award from the Iowa Christian Alliance." (Tom Tancredo's field team, at least in Iowa, has proven more adept than Paul's. See Tancredo's fourth place straw poll showing.) On why Paul's support isn't showing up in polls, Snyder pointed to Paul's legion of straw poll wins.

In other candidate news, here's Phil Klein at a Rudy Giuliani press conference meant to firm up (if you can firm up jelly) the mayor's support on the religious right.