Saturday, October 06, 2007

Ron Paul's secret weapon

By Libby Spencer

Paul's impressive $5.1 million fundraising gain this quarter shows he's a contender. As I've been saying for months, the man is going to be a factor in this race. So what's the secret behind his appeal? While the limited government position is surely a draw, it's his anti-war stance that I think resonates among the non-Libertarians and most interesting is his support among the military.

Another Paul constituency, interestingly enough, comes from the military. A study by the Center for Responsive Politics found Paul received more campaign cash from members of the military than any other Republican presidential candidate.

The study of contributions of $200 and more during the first two quarters shows that Paul has raised three times as much from members of the military as what's been raised by GOP fundraising front-runner Romney, and four times what Giuliani garnered.

As the piece notes, the redmeat crowd that picks the candidate is pro-war, so his anti-war stance may well prevent him from receiving the GOP nod, but it leaves him positioned well for an independent run at the White House and the name recognition he's building through this current run will only help if he goes that route.

Meanwhile, Ron Paul supporters take note. The discussion on this point is at my Newshoggers post, but let me point out here that the subtitle on the ABC piece is: Young, Rabid Internet Supporters Boost Congressman's Fundraising. Like it or not, politics is all about superficial impressions these days. I'm no political genius but I think somehow the Ron Paul community has got to change that meme if you want the campaign to go mainstream.

(Cross-posted at The Impolitic.)

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