SANTA ANA, Calif., Dec. 1 (UPI) -- Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, riding a wave of online giving and voter dissatisfaction, has become a player in the presidential campaign, The Los Angeles Times said.
Republican hopefuls including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney have led in most polls, but Paul has capitalized on the loyalty and tenacity of supporters to become an unlikely competitor, the newspaper reported Saturday.
One dedicated supporter of the libertarian leaning Texan is an artist who was willing to bike across the nation for Paul's campaign. A Colorado supporter was raising funds for a Ron Paul blimp.
Bruce Buchanan, a professor of government at the University of Texas, Austin, compared the Paul campaign to notable third-party campaigns in U.S. history.
"I think you could build a case that Ron Paul is part of a tradition of those unhappy with the iron grip of the status quo, from Ross Perot to Ralph Nader right back to Teddy Roosevelt and the Bull Moose Party," Buchanan told the Times. "What they all have in common is a freedom from the normal tendencies toward caution and equivocation."