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Could Rand Paul Surprise in Iowa Tomorrow?

I was reading several reports about how Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, son of my hero the former Representative for liberty, Ron Paul, might have a stealth campaign in Iowa that may surprise.

The conventional wisdom is that Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz are in a tight race for first and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is in third, although he may slip a bit.

But Rand Paul may benefit from several factors.  First he is at about five percent – already in fifth place (behind Trump/Cruz, Rubio and Doctor Ben Carson) and may be enjoying a bit of a surge.

Second, Paul will get a benefit I wish his father had:  Students back at college.  Paul is trying to raise 10,000 caucus voters in university towns.  If he gets anywhere near this, this will produce several more percent of caucusgoers and these may be under the polling radar.  College students could not be available or speak with pollsters or have cell phones.  But there are issues with getting students to caucus:

But given the competitive caucus contests underway in both parties and the fragmented nature of the Republican field – never mind young voters’ uneven record of political engagement – the pool of voters from which Paul can draw 10,000 caucus commitments is almost surely much smaller.

Hagle noted, too, that organizing college campuses is further complicated by many students’ desire to remain registered to vote in their hometowns – requiring them to leave campus on a Monday night in order to participate in the caucuses.

There is also this unconventional outreach that Paul is doing:

Demographic trends are unmistakably leading to a future where a candidate can’t win the presidency with the support of white voters alone. This speaks to why Paul’s outreach, especially to young people and minorities, is so important for conservatism.

Whether it’s Paul’s engagements at historically black universities, his focus on helping cities like Detroit and Baltimore through criminal justice and economic reform, or his welcoming diverse new members to the GOP, he’s one of the few Republicans consistently engaged in outreach beyond the traditional Republican base.

Will it be enough?  Seems like to me Paul did well in the debate (so did Rubio but Rubio always seems a bit modulated to me although he is an excellent speaker and debater and I wonder why he does not do better!) and since the final Des Moines Register poll did not show a surge for the Florida Senator maybe people are looking for another alternative.   I would also say that Carson did not do well either.  If most of Carson’s vote and some of the anti-Trump/Cruz vote that might have gone to Rubio decide to go elsewhere, maybe Rand Paul is the answer?

The Senator from Kentucky says he’ll surprise the world and win Monday night:

Rand Paul said Sunday that he might win Monday’s Iowa caucuses and will significantly outperform recent polls he claimed are not capturing his younger supporters.

“We think we’re a lot stronger than the polls represent,” the Kentucky senator told a panel on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

I do not think Rand will win but he could beat Rubio for third and maybe shock a falling Cruz for second.  But Virginia Right is famous for incredible predictions!  So let’s see.  Rand will do better than expected.  Third.  Maybe second.  More than remote but not much more than remote possibility of a Paul victory.  (Governor Gilmore is concentrating on New Hampshire.)

If something like that happens, or if Rand wins, like former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum did in 2012, the Presidential race is turned on its head.  New Hampshire will be more friendly for the Kentucky Senator.  So might Nevada.  Even Virginia might be in play due to its open primary.  And Sandy might switch to Rand!

If you can’t vote for Cruz or Trump or Rubio – shake the world – vote Rand Paul.

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood "Sandy" Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia's first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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Tom White Says:

Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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