Senator Rand Paul is going back to school. That’s the word out on the street as the presidential candidate aims to replicate his father’s success in 2012 by unleashing Iowa’s robust youth vote in his favor.
At a recent Stand with Rand rally in Iowa State University, Senator Rand Paul announced that his presidential campaign had opened just under three hundred and forty Students for Rand chapters across the country in less than a month…far ahead of schedule. Sixteen of those chapters are situated in Iowa, the site of the first Presidential caucus next year.
Senator Paul, like his father did before him, resonates strongly with younger voters due to his distinguished libertarian views emphasizing free enterprise with lower taxes/regulations, less foreign intervention, and decreased social restrictions.
Paul has made a considerable effort to attract the youth vote, a demographic that was critical to President Obama’s victory in the 2012 general election, as a whole beyond the primaries as well.
But why focus extensively on the student vote from a strategic standpoint? Last primary season, the Iowa caucuses were held on January 3rd over winter break. This meant that many younger voters were off campus and didn’t make it to the polls, says CNN‘s writer Tal Kopan. But this time around, the caucuses will be held on February 1st, meaning that younger voters will make a more decisive impact in 2016.
Referring to the strategy as the Iowa 10,000 (referring to their goal of getting 10,000 college students to vote for him), Paul’s campaign believes they will be in a very good position and would likely alter the balance between who finishes first, second, and third.
But if there’s anything working against Paul winning the youth voters, it’s that he faces stiffer competition than his father did in 2012…namely in the forms of Senator Ted Cruz and Dr. Ben Carson, both of whom are also anti-establishment and have been aggressively courting the youth vote in their own right. Only time will tell to see what happens, but at present Paul is arguably in the best position to win this demographic.
Do you think Senator Rand Paul going back to school will be enough to replicate or surpass the success of his father’s 2012 campaign, or will he need to come up with something more to win Iowa and the nomination? Tell us what you think in the comments, and don’t forget to visit our Twitter and Facebook pages!
(Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore, Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)
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