Ron Paul White House bid raises $4.5 million

U.S. Rep Ron Paul (R-TX) gestures during the Republican Party of Florida and Univision Spanish channel debate at the University of Miami, Florida, Dec. 9, 2007. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, an anti-war libertarian who has clashed with his rivals over Iraq, raised a record $4.5 million in a one-day Internet fund-raising event on Sunday, his campaign said in a statement.

Paul’s campaign said the Texas congressman had received more than 41,000 donations by early evening, shattering a $4.2 million record in a 24-hour period last month.

So far, the campaign has taken in over $16 million in the fourth quarter with two weeks remaining, the statement said.

Paul, an obstetrician-gynecologist from the Houston area, has been a formidable presence in Republican presidential debates, challenging top rivals like former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain and strongly condemning the Iraq war.

Paul still registers low in national polls of the November 2008 elections race, but routinely scores much higher in Internet surveys and snap polls taken after debates.

Editing by Todd Eastham