Friday, April 10, 2015

Could Rand Paul Win Colorado Caucus?

Senator Rand Paul has a national base of libertarians to begin his campaign with, but he has a major task to expand beyond the distant finish his father achieved in 2008 and 2012.

Ron Paul came in fourth in Colorado in the last two Republican nominating contests, which were won by Mitt Romney in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012.

Although Rand Paul polls nationally in the second tier (9%) after frontrunners Jeb Bush and Scott Walker (both 16%) (see The Buzz: Bush frontrunner and Paul tied in second tier), he does better in Colorado, where he placed at the top of the Republican field with Scott Walker in a February Quinnipiac poll and only lost to Hillary Clinton by 2 points (Bush lost by 8). In the latest Quinnipiac survey (out of the field April 7, the day Paul announced), Paul leads the Republican field and beats Clinton 44 to 41 percent.

Paul’s anti-career politician, anti-Washington, libertarian message is attractive to Colorado voters. And his effort to expand the party’s reach to younger voters, minorities and the tech-savvy (trips to Berkeley, Detroit and Silicon Valley) is smart and in the party’s interest.

Paul Rand presidential announcement, April 7, 2015
Photo: Reuters
But Paul remains an interesting longshot. Although there is a libertarian base of voters and funders, it’s modest compared to what is needed to win primaries and caucuses with typically 40 percent or more of the vote and many millions for media buys in expensive states, such as Florida. Like Ted Cruz, he’s young, won his first and only election for Senate in 2010, and populates the crowded conservative wing of the party, but Paul, similar to his dad, appears to have staying power.

See The Buzz: Clinton ahead by less than margin of error in Colorado

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