UW-Madison students supporting 2008 Presidential hopeful U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, introduced the campus to the Libertarian and encouraged donations as part of a national movement Monday at Library Mall.
"[Monday] was a grassroots organization day of donation," UW-Madison freshman Calvin Andersen said. "The idea was to get as many people as possible to donate $100 each."
Paul's UW-Madison supporters recognized Monday as "This November 5th -- Ron Paul Mass Donation Day," a nationwide campaign to raise as much money as possible.
According to Andersen, the campaign had raised $2 million nationwide by noon. "We've already surpassed expectations," UW-Madison freshman Mike Phillips said.
UW-Madison political science professor Charles Franklin said Paul has an "extremely well-organized and energized supporter base" that uses the Internet, text messaging and other new media effectively.
He said Paul's supporters have been successful in raising funds in the past, even though the number of supporters nationally might be smaller than other 2008 Presidential hopefuls.
"The bottom line is that he ends up having a small core of mass supporters that are quite intense, and who have given him quite some significant financial resources in the contributions," he said.
Student members said Paul is running on a campaign agenda different from the Democrats and Republicans and that it includes a strong anti-war message, pledging to end the Iraq war immediately.
"He's the strongest candidate for individual liberties, and that's something that resonates on college campuses," Phillips said.
Sol Grosskopf, a UW-Madison junior, said there are currently two registered student organizations for Ron Paul, "which work to coordinate efforts to advance the momentum that Ron Paul has put on this campaign."
Phillips said the group is also trying to gain support for the candidate online via a Facebook group.
© 2007 The Daily Cardinal via U-WIRE