Ron Paul touts $10.4M first quarter fundraising haul

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, addresses a gathering of supporters at a rally on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 in Nampa, Idaho. AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones

Republican presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, addresses a gathering of supporters at a rally on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 in Nampa, Idaho.
AP Photo/The Idaho Statesman, Katherine Jones

(CBS News) Ron Paul may be far behind in the delegate count for the Republican presidential nomination, but his presidential campaign is still going strong financially.

The Paul campaign announced Friday that it raised nearly $10.4 million in the first quarter of 2012, which ended March 31. The campaign has nearly $1.8 million in cash on hand and no debt -- leaving it well positioned to continue campaigning, even though Mitt Romney's delegate lead has made him the presumptive nominee.

Paul, who enjoys a loyal base of libertarian supporters -- so loyal, in fact, that one of his supporters is developing a Ron Paul video game -- managed to raise more than $2.6 million in the month of March alone, even as he lost nearly two dozen nominating contests that month to his GOP rivals.

Paul's total fundraising haul for the first quarter of this year excludes the nearly $1.4 million raised earlier this week during a Tax Day online fundraising event, or "money bomb."

Campaign chairman Jesse Benton said the latest fundraising report "amounts to excellent news as these resources fuel our effective delegate-attainment strategy." Paul aims to campaign in all 50 states, accrue as many delegates as possible, and thus wield some influence at the Republican National Convention in August.

Benton said the Paul campaign should be especially competitive in Paul's home state of Texas, "where Ron Paul is the only Texan, veteran, and authentic conservative running," he said. Texas holds its primary on May 29 and is one of the last states to weigh in on the race.

The Romney campaign today announced it raised nearly $12.6 million in primary funds in March alone and has raised $87 million in primary funds in the past 12 months. Newt Gingrich, meanwhile, revealed recently that his campaign is saddled with $4.5 million in debt.

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