How important is Ron Paul to Republicans' chances this year?
Maybe this stat from the Campaign Finance Institute helps answer that question: In the fourth fundraising quarter of 2007, Republicans finally outraised Democrats among individual donors — but only based on the strength of Paul's donors.
Without Paul's $20 million raised from individuals, Republicans would have totaled $45 million for the period from October through December, compared with Democrats' $58 million.
Paul also set the standard among candidates in both parties last year for tapping into average Americans. He raised 61 percent of his funds from small-dollar donors, defined as those who gave $200 or less, compared to just 14 percent of Hillary Rodham Clinton's funds, 12 percent of Mitt Romney's funds and 8 percent of Rudy Giuliani's 2007 campaign funds."
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