Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) reportedly raised more than $6 million yesterday for his presidential campaign, surpassing the one-day record of $5.7 million previously held by Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts.

The grassroots fundraising effort was timed to coincide with the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, when American colonists took direct action against the British monarchy, dumping cheap imported tea in the city's harbor and helping brew the American revolution. In honor of that historic event, Paul supporters gathered on the State House steps in Boston and marched to Faneuil Hall for campaign speeches by Paul's son Rand, an eye surgeon and founder of a Kentucky eye clinic that serves the poor, and Carla Howell, a libertarian who ran unsuccessfully for Massachusetts governor in 2002.

The fundraiser was organized by musician and Internet entrepreneur Trevor Lyman, a political neophyte with no official connection to Paul's campaign. A former Florida resident who recently moved to New Hampshire, Lyman also orchestrated a nationwide fundraiser that raked in an estimated $4.2 million for Paul on Nov. 5 -- Guy Fawkes Day, which commemorates a British revolutionary who tried to assassinate King James I.

Paul's campaign has raised $18 million since Oct. 1, surpassing by 50 percent its goal of $12 million, Politico.com reports. The extra money will be used to hire new staff, air more ads in early states, and bring students to canvass in Iowa over the winter break.

Paul's fundraising haul is particularly impressive considering his low poll numbers: He was at 4 percent in the Dec. 7 CBS News/New York Times poll, trailing far behind GOP frontrunners Rudy Giuliani with 22 percent and Mike Huckabee with 21 percent. But the candidate's backers say the polls underestimate his actual support because they query only those who've previously voted Republican, while Paul's libertarian principles and calls for an end U.S. military imperialism attract many citizens who previously shunned mainstream party politics.