Very interesting development here. Either Ron Paul's online presence is spreading, or John McCain is in big trouble moneywise. Or both. Keep in mind that McCain has some strong establishment support, while Paul has zero establishment support.
From ABC News
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos Reports: Though often regarded as a longshot candidate for president, Republican Ron Paul tells ABC News that he has an impressive $2.4 million in cash on hand after raising an equal amount during the second quarter, putting him ahead of one-time Republican frontrunner John McCain, who reported this week he has only $2 million in the bank.
In an exclusive interview taped Friday and airing Sunday on "This Week," Paul said his campaign is on a better trajectory than McCain's.
"I think some of the candidates are on the down-slope, and we're on the up-slope," said Paul.
Paul's cash on hand puts him in third place in the Republican field in that important metric, although he is well behind leader Rudy Giuliani, who has $18 million in the bank, and Mitt Romney, with $12 million.
Paul, who polls show with support in the low single digits, said his surprisingly strong fundraising is the best measure of his support.
"I think people have underestimated the number of people in this country who are interested in a freedom message," says the Republican congressman from Texas, who has strong libertarian leanings.
As McCain is one of the "Big 3" (or 4 with Fred Thompson), this is big. I think small l libertarianism is starting to make a much needed comeback in 2008.
Even is Ron Paul doesn't win the nomination, at worst he brings some issues that need to be addressed to the table, issues that haven't been brought to the table since before 2001. Yes, security is important, but if we have to give up all our freedoms to be "safe", then the terrorists have won already. Ron Paul has been consistent on freedom issues, fighting Bill Clinton's big government as well. I well remember the popularity of his Project Freedom newsletter back in the late 90's. I don't agree with Ron Paul on every single issue, but his consistency and his support of our constitutional rights is something I respect, and something I'll be considering in my vote. I am REAL sick and tired of "Big Government Conservatism" and "George W Bush Republicanism". I'd like to see a return of the 1994 style of Republican where Government is the problem.
One interesting aspect to watch with Ron Paul is what the 2nd Amendment Crowd will do. The High Road, a 2nd Amendment centered gun rights message board, is generally split between Ron Paul and Fred Thompson (ideological vs Pragmatism in stopping Hillary). GOA and NRA will be interesting to watch as well. I predict Ron Paul to be endorsed by GOA. NRA is capable of anything after the Joe Schwarz debacle in 06.
Whether the establishment likes it or not, Ron Paul will be a force to be rekoned with in 2008. How much of a force remains to be seen.