Last week (or was it the week previous?) the Advisory Board of Crinch Pin (you know, the guys who sometimes post here) had an email volley discussing the possibility of a third party candidacy for Ron Paul. The ARM, Paul's biggest booster in the bunch, didn't think it was likely, but with his amazing Q3 fundraising and gangbusters start to Q4, I thought it entirely possible, especially as he had nearly matched 'top tier' Johnny McMaverick in fundraising. Even more impressive, though, was that for cash on hand Paul had $5.4 million and $0 debt to 'fiscally responsible' McCain's $3.5 million ($1.8 million of which is for the general election) and $1.7 million in debt. Let me do the math for you: 3.5 minus 1.8 = $1.7 million Cash on Hand for the Primary. Oh...and then there's that $1.7 million debt, which makes things look like $0 Million. (I know that's not quite how it will work, but it sure is fun and funny to say $0 Million).
Anyway, I thought the chances of a Paul 3rd party run would be tied to the fortunes of McCain. As McCain fades, and Paul surges, the political establishment will force his hand. No Republican power broker wants to see Paul do well. They're waiting for his Dean-like flame-out. Finding no comfort or succor with the Republicans, but still having a movement and money behind him, a third party run makes perfect sense.
Yesterday I saw this tidbit on the Political Insider, but didn't have time to blog it. Looks like Paul hasn't ruled out a third party run.
I might have been wrong about pegging Paul's fortunes to McCain's, though, because as Jonathan Singer reports, it's Grandpa Fred who he's embarrassing now. In NH, Paul is polling at 7% to Thompson's 5%.
I wonder what the odds are in Vegas. I'd like to make a bet.