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Rand Paul Needs A Jumpstart as Campaign Stalls ahead of First Debate

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One of the more anticipated campaigns for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination has seemingly dropped from the national conversation and is struggling to raise money.

Called “The Most Interesting Man in the Senate” by Reason magazine, Rand Paul has built his Senate career on filibustering extrajudicial assassinations and opposing the security state.

In the last year, Paul consistently polled close to presumptive leader Jeb Bush. However, as the field has widened, the Rand Paul campaign has practically disappeared from national headlines.

The disconcerting news continued over the weekend when National Journal reported that the Kentucky senator’s super PAC, America’s Liberty PAC, received only $3 million for the first quarter, the lowest among the field’s PAC networks.

Paul had a generous first day of fundraising when he announced his candidacy in April. He received over one million dollars in that first 24 hours, but finished with only $7 million for the entire first quarter. The average donation was $65. The result has been a campaign that has apparently stalled. As of this writing, Paul is tied with Ted Cruz in the Real Clear Politics poll average with 5.7%.

Despite the downward trend, Paul is not discouraged. On Fox News Sunday, he told host Chris Wallace:

“I’m a Republican who can win [the] independent vote . . . We have to convince enough Republicans that this is a winning message, that I could actually win the purple states, and that’s what early polling shows.

In April, Paul was beating Hillary Clinton in Colorado and running close to her in Iowa and Virginia. However, recent head-to-head polling data for Paul has been hard to find.

For instance, a Quinnipiac poll from the past week found favorability ratings for Rand Paul on par with Scott Walker, Bush, and Clinton in Colorado. However, the Kentuckian did not appear in the head-to-head match-ups with Republicans or Democrats.

Paul’s diminished standing in the field could be attributed to the entrance of businessman and reality TV star Donald Trump. As a likely candidate for voters registering discontent with the current state of electoral politics, Paul has failed to stand out from the crowd.

The problem was recently explicated by The American Conservative editor Daniel McCarthy in the New York Times, when he said the candidates’ “similarities are more striking than their differences. All want to be the generic conservative candidate.”

With a campaign video last week featuring Paul cutting the tax code with a chainsaw, the senator may have been trying to alleviate the problem in an extravagant way.

The drop in prestige has also coincided with a few moves that have puzzled and angered some of Paul’s would-be supporters. The first was when Paul signed Sen. Tom Cotton’s open letter to Iran. The other was when Paul decried the subsequent nuclear deal and seemingly endorsed military action over the Islamic country’s nuclear program.

Other Paul supporters defended the senator from what is sometimes a reliance on libertarian “purism.” However, one of Paul’s more enduring qualities is that he is willing to buck his party on certain issues.

The senator has clearly distinguished himself from many of his GOP peers on executive power and government secrecy. However, his reaction to the Iran deal, which is supported by more than half the country and nearly half of all GOP poll respondents, permits Paul to blend in to the field.

The first presidential debate will be held on August 6 and the Rand Paul campaign could revitalize itself in the polls and in the campaign coffers. It was a debate exchange between Ron Paul and Rudy Giuliani that first propelled the elder Paul’s presidential campaign and profile. Although, with at least ten candidates and two hours to explain their positions, there may be few opportunities to reverse the trend.

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724 comments
Joe Cucchiara
Joe Cucchiara

I believe Rand Paul is one of the good guys. He took a shot at Trump but he didn't go the 10 rounds.I hope the people can see the integrity in the man and help him going forward. 

Saundra Hopkins
Saundra Hopkins

Don Stephenson: I would agree about, "...this train wreck of a government...", except train wreck infers there was movement. Can there be statue wreck?

Saundra Hopkins
Saundra Hopkins

Danielle Masco: Anyone in Congress, representative or senator is a Congressman/woman. Congress has two sections: the House of Representatives and the Senate. Good luck this year in 6th grade.

Dennis E. Manley
Dennis E. Manley

Gee! Don - must be a fox faux news watcher and as well as a scared white guy voting for the GOP gathinging of clowns

Debra Goudy
Debra Goudy

First of all Mitt Romney admitted days later that's EXACTLY what the Republican Party did, they changed the rules to nullify Ron Paul's delegates and hand the nomination to Romney. Romney said he regretted doing that because it ALIENATED independent voters. Liz is uninformed the parties can change internal rules when ever,where ever they want, all it takes is a MAJORITY VOTE. Republicans demanded Ron Paul give his delegates to Romney he refused.

Glen Matthew Clifton
Glen Matthew Clifton

Ya ya ya it takes money to run a campaign. It's who you take the money from and why they are donating is where my concerns lie.

Daniel Billings
Daniel Billings

Interesting how leftists feel superior to everybody. Really shows their mindset. 3/4 of the entire country doesn't vote, either.

Adam Salomon
Adam Salomon

I never said I had anything against unions -- they serve a great purpose, and I am a member of one. It's the mafia-style environment the rich union elites have created and promote to get their message across that I'm referring to. Members have no say where their hard-earned money goes, and the candidates the elites choose are heavily promoted through memos, mailings, meetings, etc. In short, unions and politics shouldn't mix. The rich bosses where I live use their members to make themselves more wealthy and powerful by using them and their money to run for political office. It is never a good thing when personal interests are put ahead of the state's needs, yet that's how greed works and is one way the disastrous TPA/TPP deal came about. Both sides are just as guilty. So yes, I will arm myself with knowledge, and I will vote without blindly falling in line with a party.

Stephany Slater Robinson
Stephany Slater Robinson

Well, he would not win, for starters. I think he's a great politician, just not very presidential. He doesn't seem to care enough about the border either, and that's huuuuge for me in AZ. There are other things about Rand which I can't recall off the top of my head. I've researched Rubio and he lines up in most areas (economy, healthcare, prolife, border, foreign policy & general leadership qualities).

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

NEWS FLASH just for Tina: Rand Paul declined the invitation from the Koch Bros. he doesn't want to win with their money. Or any other financial interest that would require him to do their bidding. He has more grassroots campaign funds than any other candidate, R or D. Period. The only people who have bought and paid for Rand Paul are citizens just like you and me.

Tim Allen
Tim Allen

Yeah. Drivel. I have correctly called every single election since Carter, including several exact details of the 2012 campaign. But oh, let me guess Don, you're a GOP guy who was so sure Mitt had it in the bag. The only joke in here is you if you think Paul has a shot at the Republican nomination, much less the White House. He's a pretender, pure & simple.

Joey Jones
Joey Jones

The right is trying to make sure we send every middle class job possible over seas. Even got Obama to help them. (TPP)

Joey Jones
Joey Jones

Adam. What do you have against unions? Do you really think people don't deserve a fair wage? Unions are the only reason the middle class still exists somewhat. I'm not in a union. But, they are the only reason every factory worker in this country isn't making minimum wage. But sure, let's get rid of them and send all those jobs over seas as well.

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

Um, actually not a single word you just said is factual. Not one. Who are these billionaires you're referring to that Rand owes his allegiance to? Please speak on things that you actually KNOW.

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

What got done? How about as much as any one individual SENATOR can do? Who has consistently fought for OUR rights to privacy and due process? Who is often the ONLY person standing against horrific presidential appointees? Who regularly defies his own party leadership to defend the people? Rand Paul has done more for individual citizens than any other elected official in DC, period. He's the antithesis of the "bought and paid for" of both parties. He is precisely the kind of leader that this train wreck of a government needs.

Progressive Moderates
Progressive Moderates

This is not an Independent page. It is a libertarian page filled with a bunch of Rand Paul idiots. You seriously need to change your page name to the Libertarian Voter Network.

Joey Jones
Joey Jones

Perhaps you should actually research his tax code.

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

Sure, Brett. If by "independent" you mean "nonsensical spewer of unsubstantiated nonsense". Then yes. You are very independent. Fail.

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

What "big money contributions" are you referring to exactly? And while you're thinking about that, can you name the one essential ingredient to run a national campaign for President?

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

Tax breaks to the rich? Dude, WHAT are you smoking?

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

Present it, Dave! Most of the Rand Paul supports here HAVE done their research. Rand has more grassroots support than any of the other fools running, including both R's and D's. CITE who it is you think "owns" Rand. Who bought and paid for him? I can answer that for you: citizens. Nice try. Fail.

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

Tim, your idiocy is showing. Come to the table when you have commentary other than nonsensical drivel.

Don Stephenson
Don Stephenson

Kasich, the one who expanded Obamacare in Ohio and forces Common Core on the students, all against the will of his party and the majority of Ohio citizens. Oh yeah, he "makes sense".

Jim Stengle
Jim Stengle

First, you don't know my candidates. However, my candidates will never be the scum known as the GOP.

Tim Allen
Tim Allen

Laugh all you want. But he hasn't proven he has enough support to become your local high school's class president, much less the nation's.

KW Wheatley
KW Wheatley

Rand is an idiot as well as a liar. He claims he is a certified doctor but he owns the only company that he is certified by.

Jim Testa
Jim Testa

...and your candidates are sane? ....give me a flippin' break! It's people like you that has caused this country to spin out of control because you obviously vote on sound bites rather than really investigating the issues and not believing all the crap the media spoon feeds to you. Do the country a favor....stay at home on Election Day.

Ashley Ping
Ashley Ping

Ron.... Well that answers that question.

Ashley Ping
Ashley Ping

Your last name is spaceship because apparently that's where you left your brain?? So you want a socialist? And you support George Soros? Typical.

Luke Dahler
Luke Dahler

Lol - despite some of these articles Rand's campaign has not stalled :)

Bradley Burnett
Bradley Burnett

We shall see, a president can influence only so much in a system of checks and balances. The federal reserve is privately owned and does not have to answer to anyone but its shareholders. The only true theory is the one being tested, if its not being tested then tou cant throw it out.

Ashley Ping
Ashley Ping

Free market is a good thing and you should look a Rands tax plan. First 50,000 tax free and 14.5% after that.

Lalo Verduzco
Lalo Verduzco

As serious as a heart attack. Ask yourself this; "Why do I hate Liberty so much?" Get to the core of that problem, then you'll understand why Rand is the man! \U0001f44c #StandWithRand

Ashley Ping
Ashley Ping

Why use facts and reason when you can act like Jim and make unfounded allegations about people's mental state?

Gavin Wilder
Gavin Wilder

Where did you get that drivel from? Lol geez Bernie supporters are whacked.

Ashley Ping
Ashley Ping

That he's absolutely right. Rand is our best chance at making some real changes in Washington.

Eric Frounder
Eric Frounder

Rand Paul is the most Conservative and Constitutional Candidate of them all, he's the Candidate that doesn't want the Government to get involved in People's Personal Lives and that We are the ones who make the Final Decisions of our Lives.