From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
Even a half hour after Ron Paul's "Revolution" rally ended in downtown Manchester, there was a crowd larger than other candidates could only hope to draw. The campaign estimated that as many as 800 people showed up as the Texas congressman kicked off a canvassing effort in New Hampshire's three largest cities.
The campaign gave out buttons asking: "Who is Ron Paul?" But who are Ron Paul's supporters? "I think they're new to the process," said Paul's son, Rand Paul. "We definitely have Democrats that are crossing over, Libertarians crossing over, Independents crossing over. And I think the people that come out are definitely gonna vote."
Rand Paul said that every day he's surprised at "how big" his father's campaign has gotten. Last week, they asked supporters to raise $500,000. "They passed that in three days, and now we're asking them to raise a million," Rand Paul said. By Sunday, they had done just that. And Rand Paul said his father might end the third fundraising quarter with more cash on hand than most of the other Republicans. "We may have more money on hand than Romney if you subtract what he's given himself," he said.
Paul rejected a comparison to Howard Dean's Internet fueled 2004 campaign, which fizzled by the time votes were actually cast. "My dad has been going around the country for 30 years, and has a following," Paul said. "It's definitely a committed core. Howard Dean didn't have that cohesive message and a philosophy." What Dean and Paul have in common is their anti-war message. And Paul said his father's stance makes him the Republican with "the best chance of getting independent voters over."