Why are people giving Ron Paul so much money?

Ron Paul is raising a TON of money. But it’s not translating into real support.

A new Gallup Poll out today shows that his support among Republicans nationally has actually dropped in the past month, from a paltry 5% to a pathetic 3%. This is after he did get more press and appeared in most of the TV debates. By the way, that 3% total now ties him with new entrant… the loony Alan Keyes.

Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post asks what the heck is going on with Ron Paul raising all this money. (After the jump, what do you think is going on?)

In commemoration of Guy Fawkes’ attempted assassination of King James I, the Paul network organized a fundraising bomb — for lack of a better word. More than $4 million was collected online in roughly 24 hours, a stunning achievement for any candidate but especially someone with Paul’s seemingly long-shot odds at the nomination.

Even then, however, it was easy to write Paul off. Other fringe candidates had been able to collect several million dollars form their efforts. Paul fit somewhat easily into the model of other perennial candidates like Lyndon LaRouche.

No more. Paul collected more than $6 million in a single day earlier this week (Dec. 16 — the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, natch). Paul campaign officials say that he will top $18 million raised between Sept. 1 and Dec 31, a total that will put him first or very close to the top of the fundraising chase.

The Fix is often baffled about politics but rarely totally stumped. Ron Paul’s financial prowess is, however, an example of a development that we just can’t figure out.

So what’s going on? Are the Rs fed up with their own party? Is Paul’s support even coming from Republicans, or is he tapping into an anti-war vote, or what? Thoughts?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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