Rand Paul was the first Republican to throw his hat into the ring back in April.
Nearly 10 months after launching his campaign, Paul announced that he was putting it to an end. The announcement comes to an end today less than 48 hours after finishing fifth in Iowa with 4.5% of the vote. The latest poll in New Hampshire had Paul with 2% support in the Granite state.
In a time when concerns about Iran, ISIS and Islamic supremacism are of foremost concern to Republican voters, Paul’s non-interventionist, if not isolationist tendencies put him way out in left field. Throw in the fact that Paul has no money, has a high unfavorability rating and is facing a strong Democrat challenger in his Kentucky Senate re-election bid, his viability as a Republican presidential candidate was simply non-existent.
Let me throw something out here. I realize that Paul will most likely focus his efforts in getting re-elected in Kentucky. But let’s suppose that Trump wins the GOP nomination. Can we entirely dismiss the possibility that Paul might run for President on the Libertarian Party ticket as a means to thwart Trump? As it stands now, former New Mexico Governor and 2012 Libertarian Party candidate Gary Johnson is likely to carry the banner again in 2016. But if Paul were to decide to jump into that race that would make things interesting given that Paul has a higher national profile than Johnson.
Again, this is a very unlikely scenario. The RNC wants to keep him in the Senate and Paul would get resources to do so. Running for President as a Libertarian would be downright quixotic. But 2016 is a year unlike any other and if Republicans deep down don’t want Trump in the White House then a Paul third party run could certainly could put a stop to it.