Rand Paul’s campaign actually showed faint signs of life in the last ABC/Washington Post poll, where his 5 percent showing has him within striking distance of Jeb Bush and every other candidate besides Donald Trump and Ben Carson. That’s little consolation considering the poll shows Carson at 20 percent and rising sharply and Trump doing the same at 33 percent.
There has been a lot of digital ink and hot air expended on why Paul fell from the GOP lead as “the most interesting man in politics” to a long shot candidate fighting for scraps with the Walkers, Bushes and other members of the rejected “establishment.” There have been reports of infighting among the campaign staff, Paul’s failure to energize his father’s activist base and even his reluctance to woo big money donors.
One would think that last “shortcoming” would be appealing to voters fed up with Washington insiders, but apparently not so for Paul.
The most prevalent theory is that in trying to avoid alienating mainstream Republican voters while championing his father’s libertarian platform, Paul has alienated both groups: libertarians and traditional Republicans. That sounds good, but it doesn’t add up.
Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.