"I get the most money from active duty officers and military personnel."
Ron Paul on Wednesday, November 28th, 2007 in a debate in St. Petersburg
A military victory for Paul
The Center for Responsive Politics reports that since January, he has received at least $53,670 from U.S. military personnel. The Houston Chronicle, after an extensive analysis of Federal Election Commission reports, puts the figure at $63,440 for the same period.
The disparity in the figures is caused by the complicated nature of campaign contributions.
Massie Ritsch, a spokesman for CRP, speculates that the difference between their numbers and those of the Chronicle are because the newspaper had access to small contributions and was more familiar with the military connections of people who might not have listed the military as their employer.
Regardless, Paul is right that he's on top.
Both sources say Democratic candidate Barack Obama comes in second, with CRP reporting he has received $45,200 from military folks. The Houston paper says active and retired military personnel funneled $53,968 to Obama's campaign.
"What we were hearing from the donors is that this money was definitely a statement about the war," Ritsch said. "It doesn't mean it reflects the views of anyone else in the military. It just may be the way this small slice of people is making a statement, because it's one of the ways they can make a statement. If you're active military, there aren't too many ways you can protest the mission you've been assigned."
John McCain comes in third, with CRP reporting he received $40,000 and the Chronicle saying $48,208. McCain was a Vietnam War prisoner and backs the surge in Iraq.