Consider this post another installment in the series: “Rand Paul could win the Republican nomination. Please stop laughing.”
In previous installments, we’ve argued that Paul will inherit from his father a preexisting campaign structure in Iowa and New Hampshire that few, if any, of his rivals can match. We’ve argued that Paul is showing the ability to raise real money, both from GOP insiders and via small donations over the web. And we’ve argued that, at least so far, Republican primary voters in key early states see Paul as a mainstream conservative, not a libertarian wacko bird.
Which brings us to Paul’s other great, unnoticed, strength: Hillary Clinton. While things could always change, the 2016 Democratic nomination is so far shaping up as the least competitive, non-incumbent presidential primary contest in memory. It looks increasingly likely that if Clinton faces any opposition at all, it will be from a Don Quixote like Bernie Sanders or Brian Schweitzer, not a challenger with any genuine political base or ability to raise substantial money.
For Rand Paul, that’s fabulous. It means lots of Democrats and independents will cross over to vote in Republican primaries, where the action is. And most of them will vote for him.