Rand Paul takes in $2.5 million in third-quarter fundraising
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Republican presidential candidate Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGOP senator asks to be taken off Moore fundraising appeals Red state lawmakers find blue state piggy bank Prosecutors tell Paul to expect federal charges against attacker: report MORE has had a tough fundraising quarter, taking in $2.5 million over the last three months, according to an aide.
 
But the Paul campaign insists its financials are healthy and on an upward trajectory and that the Kentucky senator is "in it for the long haul."
 
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In the previous quarter, the Paul campaign raised $6.9 million, but communications director Sergio Gor said the drop-off did not reflect the fact that donations have started to pick up in the weeks since the last GOP debate. Since then, the campaign raised $750,000, he said, and had brought in a half-million dollars in the last week.
 
The Paul campaign is the third presidential team to release its third-quarter fundraising figures. He lags well behind the other candidates who have released their totals.
 
Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) raised $26 million for the quarter, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought in $28 million. Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who is running for the Republican nomination, raised more than $20 million, mostly in small donations, his campaigns said.
 
Whether Paul's campaign is bringing in enough money to stay the distance is an open question, but Gor is adamant that his candidate would not go the way of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who dropped out of the race last month.
 
"We're doing everything that we need to be doing," Gor said on Thursday. 
 
"Senator Paul has said he's in this for the long haul. He didn't go to Alaska, Wyoming, and you know these places just for giggles."
 
Paul, who was an early favorite for the GOP nomination, has slipped into low single digits in recent polls, and rumors have been circulating that he planned to exit the race and focus on competing to keep his Senate seat. 
 
But Gor pushed back against those claims, and downplayed the significance of critical remarks made by campaign surrogate Ed Crane, who reportedly said he was no longer bothering to raise money for a pro-Paul super-PAC because he thought the candidate had abandoned his libertarian principles.
 
The Paul campaign has about $2 million cash on hand, according to Gor. Given that the campaign finished the previous quarter with $4.1 million cash on hand, that suggests the campaign spent more than it took in these past three months. Having spent $4.6 million and taken in $2.5 million, the Paul campaign spent at almost double the rate it earned these past three months.
 
Gor acknowledged this but said "the campaign overall has spent less than it has taken in over the course of the campaign, and because we had significant one time costs that are behind us, we are bringing in enough revenue to cover our campaign's ongoing costs indefinitely."
 
By comparison, Clinton spokesman Josh Schwerin tweeted on Thursday that the campaign has about $32 million cash on hand, meaning it is spending at an aggressive rate of nearly 90 percent but is still in a relatively solid position.
 
Other presidential candidates have not yet released their third-quarter numbers.