WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, aided by an extraordinary outpouring of Internet support Monday, hauled in more than $4.2 million in nearly 24 hours.
Paul, the Texas congressman with a libertarian tilt and an out-of-Iraq pitch, entered heady fundraising territory with a surge of Web-based giving tied to the commemoration of Guy Fawkes Day.
Fawkes was a British mercenary who failed in his attempt to kill King James I on Nov. 5, 1605. He also was the model for the protagonist in the movie “V for Vendetta.” Paul backers motivated donors on the Internet with mashed-up clips of the film on the online video site YouTube as well as the Guy Fawkes Day refrain: “Remember, remember the 5th of November.”
Paul advocates limited government and low taxes like other Republicans, but he stands alone as the only GOP presidential candidate opposed to the Iraq war. He also has opposed Bush administration security measures that he says encroach on civil liberties.
Not mentioned in the story are the antics of Paul’s online supporters, who spam internet polls and blog posts, generally making pests of themselves on his behalf. Also left out are his ties to Alex Jones, a well known 9/11 conspiracy theorist as well as the backing of white supremacist and a number of other fringe right groups.
Even without all that his policy positions themselves, apart from his stance against the Iraq war and in favor of isolationism in general, are rather odd. He wants to return to the gold standard and abolish the federal reserve.
Not surprisingly, his support according to scientific polling hovers in the low to mid single digits. I suppose this goes to show that even candidates with very little actual support among the general population can raise a lot of money from their small groups of diehard boosters.