Is Ron Paul moving into the top tier of Republican candidates?
The signs seem to be pointing that way...
A look at 3rd Quarter fund-raising:
The Ron Paul 2008 presidential campaign raised $5,080,000 during the third quarter of 2007--an impressive 114% increase from the second quarter. Paul's 114 percent increase is in stark contrast to the decreases suffered by Romney, Giuliani, and McCain. Romney's fundraising was down 29%; Giuliani was down 40%; McCain was down 55 percent.
In absolute terms, Paul's $5 million compares favorably with McCain's $6 million-- and lags behind (but is still in the ballpark with) Guiliani's $11M, Romney's $10M, and Thompson's $9M. Other second-tier candidates apparently raised no more than $1M this quarter.
Paul is also relatively strong in terms of cash-on-hand. His $5.3M is apparently greater than McCain's; he trails Thompson's $7M somewhat and Romney's $9M moreso. He, and everyone else is far behind Guiliani's $16M.
A look at the market odds on the various candidates:
According to the gambling site, InTrade.com, Paul is the fourth most likely Republican to win the nomination. His 6.1% probability is far behind Guiliani (39%) and Romney and Thompson (23% each), but is ahead of McCain (5.5%), Huckabee (3.0%) and all others (.1% each).
Of course, the odds are still slim. But Paul has surprised to this point. And as the only anti-war candidate among the Republicans (and the most credible anti-war candidate in either party), as the only true fiscal conservative, and as the most principled candidate in the field-- he may continue to surprise. At the least, his continued and growing presence will be educational and entertaining!