As Sen. Rand Paul announces his presidential candidacy, I’ve been talking about it in the media. At the Daily Beast, I write about his chances:
The Republican base may be divided into establishment, tea party, Christian right, and libertarian wings. Paul starts out with a strong base in the libertarian wing, which gave his father, Rep. Ron Paul, 21 percent of the Iowa caucus vote and 23 percent of the New Hampshire primary in 2012. With his strong opposition to taxes and spending and his book “The Tea Party Goes to Washington,” he’s also well positioned for the tea party vote. His pro-life views will make him acceptable to religious conservatives as the field narrows.
The wild card may be who can attract voters who don’t usually vote in Republican primaries. Paul’s stands on military intervention, marijuana, criminal justice reform, and the surveillance state give him a good shot at getting independents and young people to come out for him….
After the 2012 election Los Angeles Times columnist James Rainey wrote that the country is mildly “left on social issues and right on economics…. a center-libertarian nation.”
No other candidate is trying to appeal directly to that center-libertarian vote. That’s the big new idea that Rand Paul will test.