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Today could be pivotal in GOP Senate primary

by Joe Arnold


Posted on December 16, 2009 at 12:43 AM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 16 at 12:55 AM

(Political Blog analysis) By raising expectations for a "moneybomb" Internet fundraiser today (12/16), Rand Paul's U.S. Senate campaign is walking a high risk/high reward tightrope.  If campaign manager David Adams' public hopes are reached to raise $700,000 in one day, even skeptics will have to take notice of Paul's sustained success.  But, if the moneybomb falls far short of the goal, Paul's upstart candidacy could be walking into a warning sounded by rival Trey Grayson, who has suggested that Paul's campaign is likely to peak too soon.

Meanwhile, a Grayson fundraiser to be hosted by Kentucky's Mitch McConnell and originally scheduled for Dec. 7 in New York, was postponed.  "As a result of the congressional schedule, it has been moved to 1st quarter of next year," Grayson campaign manager Nate Hodson said.

Adams says the Paul campaign has raised $300,000 in the 4th quarter so far, so he hopes for a $700,000 moneybomb to get the campaign to $1 million in the quarter.  And the Rand Paul campaign website appears to raise expectations even higher:

On December 16, 2007, supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul broke the all time fundraising record by raising $6 million in a single day, holding tea parties throughout the USA to protest an oppressive government. On December 16, 2009, will Dr. Rand Paul’s supporters make history again?

Paul's campaign raised $1,010,668 in the third quarter, while Grayon's campaign raised $642,857.  Through the 3rd quarter, however, Grayson's total fundraising was slightly higher, $1,245,992 total compared to $1,121,693 for the Paul campaign.

Paul surged nine points to take a narrow lead over Grayson in the latest WHAS11/Survey USA poll in early November.  But, a full 34% of respondents chose neither Grayson or Paul.

32%   Grayson
35%   Paul
2%     Johnson
1%     Oerther
3%     Thoney
10%   Other
18%   Undecided

Veteran political observers wonder if Paul's campaign is sustainable.  The moneybomb might just answer that question.