Rand Paul campaign: Around $2.5 million raised in 3rd quarter

Story highlights

  • Communications Director Sergio Gor says Rand Paul's campaign biased about 2.5 million in the third quarter
  • "We've always said we'll have enough money to compete," Gor said
  • The majority of donations to the presidential campaign have come from small donors

(CNN)Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's campaign for president will announce in the coming days that it raised approximately $2.5 million in the third quarter and has $2 million cash on hand, Communications Director Sergio Gor said Thursday.

That haul is just a fraction of the $20 million the campaign of retired brain surgeon Ben Carson says it is on track to post for the third quarter -- half of that money coming in in September alone.
Paul's third quarter total is well under the $7 million the libertarian firebrand raised in the second quarter. Part of that money was transferred from his Senate committee, a practice allowed under campaign finance laws, Gor said.
    Paul was one of the first candidates to announce his bid, but has been polling in the low single digits in the race for the Republican nomination, but he has no plans to follow in the footsteps of low-polling Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Scott Walker of Wisconsin and pull out of the race.
    "Rand Paul's campaign is on an upswing, despite what a lot of reporters have written out there," Gor said. "Polls go up and down and this is literally a marathon and not a sprint. The fact that we are raising more than we're spending is a great indication that we're in this for the long haul."
    Gor said Paul's campaign had raised $750,000 of its total for the quarter just since the CNN debate on Sept. 16, which he said was an indication that the base was excited by what he called the senator's "strong showing" at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
    Paul has struggled to gain traction in a campaign season that has been dominated by so-called outsider candidates -- like Donald Trump, Carson and more recently Carly Fiorina -- who have never been elected to public office. Still, his campaign argues it has a built in advantage because of his father's, former Rep. Ron Paul, past White House bids and can benefit from networks already established in early states like Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, rather than having to build them from scratch.
    The campaign has hired on new staffers in Nevada in recent weeks, though officials will not provide specific numbers on staffing levels.
    "We've always said we'll have enough money to compete," Gor said.
    Gor argued that while other campaigns - like Jeb Bush's and Carson's -- may bring in more money, Paul's small-donor focus is a good indicator of interest in his run. His campaign had more than 100,000 individual donors in the second quarter, compared to fewer than 10,000 for Bush, Gor said.
    Paul, who is also running for re-election to the Senate, expects to participate in the next debate on CNBC on Oct. 28 -- another chance to make his case to voters before a large television audience.
    "We're pleased that Sen. Paul will once again be on the main stage," said Gor.
    Despite the campaign's view, it is not yet clear who will meet the criteria spelled out by CNBC. The network announced Wednesday that candidates must have an average of at least 3% among recognized national polls in order to participate in their primetime debate. Candidates who can't clear 3% will be relegated to the second-tier debate. Paul is one of several candidates hovering around the 3% mark in an average of recent national polls.