David Frum offers a "reality check" to the astounding news that Ron Paul just raised $4 million dollars online in one day:
Amidst the excitement over Ron Paul's fundraising, it is worth recalling that in the much lower-intensity race of 2000, Ralph Nader raised over $8 million for his presidential bid.
The easy responses are to point out that Nader didn't raise his millions in a single day, that he had vastly higher name recognition than Ron Paul, and that he was running in a much more spoiler-friendly race, in which the political stakes and ideological gap between the candidates were seen (incorrectly) as small.
But perhaps the more relevant response is to note that Ralph Nader's candidacy decided the 2000 election.
Should Paul decide to run as a third-party candidate in the general (as Ross Douthat thinks he should), he could easily do the same.
Update: Ben Adler of The Politico emails to point out that Ron Paul told him in an interview that he had "no intention of running as a third-party candidate." We'll see whether he develops one as time goes on.