Ron Paul’s supporters give him a $1.8 million birthday present

Chris Moody

Ron Paul turned 76 over the weekend, and his supporters rewarded him with more than $1.8 million in donations to his presidential campaign.

Since his 2008 run for president, the Republican representative from Texas has honed a "money bomb" strategy to collect thousands of small donations in a short amount of time.

The weekend fund-raising drive was extended from its late Saturday night deadline until midday Sunday when the campaign said its website faced a "cyberattack" that shut down the site for a few hours. By the end of Saturday, Paul had already raised $1.49 million, the campaign reported.

"Today's money bomb results show the strength of our grassroots support," Jesse Benton, Paul's campaign chairman, said in a statement. "We've just come off of an impressive finish in the Iowa straw poll, and our growing poll numbers and strong fundraising proves that our message is resonating with people."

Paul came in second behind Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann in the Republican straw poll in Ames, Iowa, earlier this month, a showing Paul supporters think the news media has overlooked. Paul receives less news coverage than most of the other candidates, even ones who poll below him, an analysis by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism found.

Although Paul has one of the most energized fan base among any of the candidates and has proven to be a formidable fundraiser, his appeal--at least to this point--is relatively limited. The survey average has Paul in the middle of the pack with an 8.8 polling average, several points behind Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and Bachmann, but leading Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman and Rick Santorum.

This was the fourth time Paul has raised more than a million dollars in a 24-hour period.