Ron Paul campaign raises $4.5M in January

Rep. Ron Paul's campaign raised $4.5 million in January, a strong showing for the Texas lawmaker.

Paul has $1.6 million cash in hand and expects to exceed his fourth-quarter fundraising total of $13.4 million. 

The campaign's 2011 fourth-quarter total was second only to the $24 million raised by Mitt Romney, long presumed to be the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

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"The fundraising totals position Ron Paul as a candidate fully prepared for the expense and rigors of the next few Republican nominating contests, and indeed beyond," said a release from the campaign on Monday touting the figures.

“Naturally we’re pleased that our growing support base continues to generously support Ron Paul, so in turn he can spread his message of constitutionally-limited government, sound money, and a foreign policy that keep America safe,” said campaign chairman Jesse Benton.

The campaign said Paul had raised $1.7 million in a money bomb last week, but that those figures will be tallied in the February report.

However, despite the fundraising prowess, polls show Paul trailing the rest of the GOP pack. A Gallup tracking poll from Monday showed Paul at 11 percent support from Republicans nationally, well behind Rick Santorum at 36 percent support.

The congressman is still searching for his first win in the race, but finished a close second in the Maine caucuses, behind Romney by only 156 votes.

Paul, though, buoyed by his strong fundraising, has vowed to stay in the race until the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla.