Is Ron Paul the favorite candidate of US military personnel?
Ron Paul says it’s time to bring US troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He also says he's raised more money from current members of the armed forces than any other GOP hopeful.
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And according to an analysis by the campaign finance watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics, the organization whose members have contributed the most to Paul’s coffers is listed as the US Air Force. Members of the Army are second, and the Navy is third.Skip to next paragraph
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Mitt Romney’s top three, measured as the group whose members donated the most to his effort, are Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley. As you might imagine, this is a contrast that the Paul campaign is more than happy to publicize.
“This fundraising analysis confirms Americans’ beliefs about Ron Paul and their suspicions about Mitt Romney ... Romney relies almost exclusively on his big-business ties,” said Paul campaign spokesman Jesse Benton in a statement.
Well, we’ve got a couple of comments about this analysis. The first is that the methodology of the analysis is necessarily limited. Individual contributors to a presidential campaign are supposed to note their occupation, but they don’t always. Sometimes, they do include information, but it’s incomplete – an address say, or an acronym that laypeople can’t identify.
Forty percent of Paul’s contributions weren’t coded, and thus weren’t included in the Center for Responsive Politics survey. Thirty percent of Romney’s contributions similarly weren’t counted. It’s possible that a full accounting here would tell a different story. It’s also possible that it wouldn’t.
Second, there’s no way around it: Romney got a boatload of cash from Wall Street. Members of his top five donating organizations – all financial firms – have pumped over a million bucks into his campaign so far.
While he may have received the most from donors who chose to identify themselves as serving in the military, Paul didn’t actually get that much from them, relatively speaking. If you add up his haul from the Air Force, Army, and Navy, it is something like $60,000, according to the CRP analysis. Compare that to his $12 million overall total.
So the real story may be that libertarian Paul gets money from people who work at so many different places that it doesn’t take much for the total from workers at one place to collectively place high in his money rankings. Got that?
We think this measure may be more indicative: 48 percent of Paul’s donations came in small increments from individuals, according to FEC date. Only ten percent of Romney’s money came in a similar way.