Ron Paul Leads John McCain in Cash on Hand

Back when some called for limiting the debates to the front runners, I argued that minor candidates should be included. Leaving out the minor candidates would be a self-fulfilling prophesy, while including them opens the possibility that more voters would be attracted to such candidates. Ron Paul is turning out to be a perfect example of this. Paul stood out in the debates when he was attacked by the rest of the Republicans for telling the simple truth that American behavior in the middle east played a part in al Qaeda’s decision to attack. Paul did not say, as the right wing noise machine claims, that we are responsible for the attack or that al Qaeda was justified. It was a simple statement of fact in contrast to the simplistic Republican view that they attacked because they hate us for our freedoms.

While Ron Paul has been opposed by Republican candidates and conservative pundits, he has attracted increased support. This is now seen in his fund raising:

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.

Okay, moving ahead of McCain may not be as impressive now as we might have thought at the beginning of the year. Still, when the media decides which candidates are worthy of coverage and which have no chance, Ron Paul deserves to be considered. I still don’t think he has much of a chance of winning the nomination, but who knows. I also wouldn’t have thought he would be ahead of McCain in terms of cash on hand at this point and there is a long way to go.

There are also parallels to the Democratic race here as second quarter fund raising shows Bill Richardson to be on the up-slope while John Edwards’ campaign is experiencing trouble. While I won’t totally write off McCain, he does appear to be in even more difficulty than Edwards as Edwards still shows some hopes for victory if he can maintain his shaky lead in Iowa.

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