Ron Paul, Guy Fawkes and some guy from Miami Beach you never heard of
Our friends over at Politico.com have the skinny on how Ron Paul managed to raise lottery-level cash in just one day this weekend. In a sense, it was outsourced, and reporter Kenneth P. Vogel traces it back to one Trevor Lyman, a 37-year-old Internet music promoter and political novice from Miami Beach.
Lyman's innovative "e-bundling" process will likely find its way into other campaigns as part of the evolution of Internet fundraising. Why? Because everyone likes success, and raising more than $4 million in one day is nothing to sneeze at.
Lyman's process merges basic Web fundraising with traditional bundling (gathering lots of donors' checks and delivering them at the same time) and smart marketing -- media coverage follows poll leaders and money-raisers. Paul has been notably light in poll support, but a longshot candidate raising Hillary Clinton-scale dollars generated a ton of mainstream media coverage (she raised nearly $6.2 million on June 30, the one-day record).
It didn't hurt that the fundraising day was timed to Guy Fawkes Day, celebrating a failed attempt to blow up the British Parliament -- a symbolic tie-in for Paul's libertarian minimal-government views. And Lyman is planning another round in December to coincide with the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party and Bill of Rights Day.
As much as most of us hate it, raising cash is a barometer of political viability, since donors tend to put their money where their vote is. But as we mentioned before, the key issue now for Paul is to translate the cash into broader support -- particularly in the early vote states, where the narrative for the nomination gets established.
-- Scott Martelle