Is Ron Paul now a top tier candidate?

Ron Paul 2008On July 15, presidential candidate Ron Paul will report raising $2.4 million in the second quarter of 2007 with over $2 million remaining in his campaign account after paying expenses. This is more cash on hand than any of the other Republican candidates except Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney. Texas Congressman Ron Paul now has more money than John McCain. [Thanks to the “Colbert bump“!]

Ron Paul has for months been the darling of the libertarian-leaning internet crowd, but apparently his fans are willing to back up their blog presence with real campaign cash.

With the #3 war chest in the race, should Ron Paul now be taken seriously by the mainstream media? And how will Congressman Paul use his $2 million? Is he going to build a traditional Iowa/New Hampshire/South Carolina staff operation, or will he leverage it in online ads for even more cash come 2008?

Another note: Is there anything John McCain can do at this point to even remain on the Iowa ballot by next January?

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