Rep. Ron Paul’s 2012 headway could pave the path for a future Sen. Rand Paul presidential run. And since the younger Paul hinted earlier this year that he would consider a 2012 bid but wouldn’t compete against his father, a run could come as soon as 2016, if Obama wins next year, or 2020, if a Republican other than Ron Paul wins.
The elder Paul’s campaign has seen an uptick in success so far compared with his showing in the 2008 race. He came in second in the straw poll in Ames, Iowa, this month, a jump up from his fifth-place finish in 2007. He’s polling in the double digits in some national polls, including 12 percent in a CNN/Opinion Research poll and 14 percent in a USA Today/Gallup poll. And a recent Gallup poll shows he’d fare well against Obama were the election held today—45 percent said they’d choose him over the incumbent, compared to 47 percent who preferred Obama. Despite these gains, many pundits and political strategists still view a Paul nomination as a long shot, though of course surprises happen.
But since the 12-term congressman is all about his long-held libertarian principles, the Paul campaign is definitely succeeding at keeping those philosophies in the spotlight. Insiders and Paul watchers say the father and son are very similar, though not in lockstep on every issue, so this attention could bode well for Rand Paul if he decides to run in the future.
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