For several sweltering days in August, Cheryl Scott and several other Nashville residents stood on downtown overpasses bearing eight-foot-long signs that urged rush-hour drivers to “Google Ron Paul.” Scott’s campaign is one measure of the Internet-driven support Paul has sparked in his long-shot bid for the presidency. He has never polled above 4% in national surveys, according to Jeffrey Jones, managing editor of the Gallup Poll. Yet the Republican Texas congressman’s supporters helped him collect $5 million over the summer. For all of his Internet savvy, Paul lags behind Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Fred Thompson in money and in the polls. Even so, Bruce Buchanan, an expert on presidential politics at the University of Texas at Austin, said Paul has achieved an important goal: He’s collected the cash he needs to maintain a presence in the contest. “It’s pretty clear to him and to everybody else that he’s unlikely to win the presidency, but he now has enough money to hang around to continue to articulate his position and provide a place for the disaffected to go,” Buchanan said.
Paul Campaign Fueled by Web Cash and Savvy