$5.08 mil, more than double what he did last quarter and eight times what he did in the quarter before that. Not only are the new numbers on par with McCain — with a lot more cash on hand — but they’re not terribly far behind Fred, who pulled $8 million. Huckabee, the ostensible first-tier candidate, barely cracked seven digits.

Choose your spin: (1) this proves the GOP is trending anti-war; (2) this proves the GOP is trending libertarian; (3) this proves the GOP is dissatisfied with the big four; (4) this proves Truthers have more disposable income than anyone thought. Exit prediction: the media will push ’em in precisely that order. Marc Ambinder sets the pace.

Update: I’ve speculated before about the possibility of a third-party run by this tool and now it’s looking surer than ever. He’s got the bread, he’s got the messianism, and he’s got plenty of antipathy towards the current Republican front-runner. It’ll be verrrry interesting to see if evangelical leaders give him a look going forward as a possible protest vote against Rudy. His war stance probably makes it impossible but he’s got all the right moves on abortion and the fact that he’s an Ob/Gyn by trade can’t hurt. Assuming evangelicals steer clear, can he still do enough damage to Rudy in the swing states to tilt them to Hillary? I’m thinking … yeah, sure. He appeals to the fringe of enough conservative subgroups that two or three percent isn’t out of the question.