Ron Paul Gets Bombed

November 6, 2007

Forget about Ron Paul’s polling numbers, these days it’s more fun to forecast his fund-raising numbers. In the past two weeks, he aired his first ads in New Hampshire, raised his national media profile, and, as of today, raised more money online in a single day than any other candidate this election cycle.

Paul’s indefatigable grassroots supporters are “moneybombing” the campaign today, partly to pay homage to Guy Fawkes, the bomber-with-a-cause featured in V for Vendetta, and partly just because they felt like it. As of this writing, Paul has already raised $2.5 million. That’s more than Mike Huckabee, Tom Tancredo, and Duncan Hunter raised in the 3rd quarter, combined. To understand the magnitude of today’s donations, see the chart from RonPaulGraphs.com below:

Much of this was organized by Paul’s slightly anarchic grassroots network. Trevor Lyman, who started the central moneybomb Web site, told me he started the process without informing the campaign. (He eventually warned them that their servers would be getting a huge influx.) “It’s very organic,” he said about the grassroots system, “and anybody at any point can have an idea that resonates with people.” Lyman told me he floated the Nov. 5 moneybomb idea to the crew at RonPaulForums.com, who then inspired him to make the Web site. Originally, the plan was to get 100,000 people to donate $100 each, giving Paul $10 million. But Lyman admits they probably won’t hit that total.

Paul, meanwhile, is enjoying the attention. His spokesman told me that he thinks the moneybomb is a “real neat idea.” If thousands of people gave me millions of dollars, I’d think it was pretty neat, too. A reality check to temper the Paul masses: It’s not all about the Benjamins. The campaign still needs voters to show up at the polls.

UPDATE 6:20 p.m.:  Paul has surpassed $3.1 million, which breaks Mitt Romney’s one day total (online and in-person) fundraising record for this cycle.

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