America, and apparently most of the GOP field, don’t seem to care about the first Republican presidential debate tonight, but don’t tell that to the supporters of Ron Paul. A debate day money bomb has so far netted the Republican candidate over $700,000 and counting.
Showing that they are going to be heard just as much or more than they were in 2008, the supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul are celebrating tonight’s first debate with a money bomb that should make every other Republican in the field shudder.
The Ron Paul folks are famous for their ability to use the Internet to raise cash for their guy. In February when Rep. Paul formed his exploratory committee, the campaign raised $700,000. However, what the Paul folks are doing today is nothing compared to their one day money bomb haul in November 2007.
According to a 2008 AP story, “Funneled through the Internet, Paul’s one-day loot totaled $4.3 million from about 37,000 donors, considered the largest sum ever collected online in a single day by a GOP candidate.” Paul is easily the best grassroots fundraiser in the GOP, and his people are light years ahead of other Republican candidates in terms of the Internet.
The problem for Dr. Paul has always been translating his cyber success to traditional campaigning. Fox News is essentially media gatekeeper for the Republican Party, and they despise Ron Paul. In fact, they never miss a chance to paint Paul as nothing more than a fringe lunatic who is not worth their viewers’ time and attention.
It will be interesting to see if Rep. Paul can break through in 2012. The Republican field is painfully weak, and Paul won’t get any attention from the mainstream conservative press until he wins a primary, but if Rep. Paul could pull of a win somewhere, he could make the GOP take him seriously. Dr. Paul’s campaign has not yet figured out a way of translating their candidate’s Internet support to votes, but tonight they have something that they have never had before. Ron Paul will be given center stage at the South Carolina debate.
Ron Paul’s supporters formed the original political Tea Party, and no they did not call themselves teabaggers. The corporatist main stream GOP stole this idea from the Paul people, took it away from its Libertarian roots, and bastardized it into a corporate front.
Tonight is Ron Paul’s night to take the Tea Party name back.