The End for Rand Paul and Other GOP Candidates? - Onan Coca

December 21, 2015


Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has been a champion of conservative values in the Senate and on the presidential campaign trail, but that trail might soon be coming to an end. Over the weekend there was some speculation as to whether or not Paul would be included in the upcoming Presidential debate this Tuesday in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Sunday CNN finally announced that Paul would indeed be part of the debate, but not until after Senator Paul, campaigning in New Hampshire, had already said something very interesting, and perhaps telling, about the future of his presidential campaign.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is confident he will be on the primetime Republican debate stage Tuesday, but if he falls short, he will make an announcement this week about what comes next.

Asked Saturday by the Globe specifically if he would drop out of the race for president if he didn’t qualify for the main-stage GOP debate, Paul said: “We will make an announcement, on that, on Tuesday.”

Later in the day Senator Paul’s campaign reached out to the Boston Globe to clarify his comments. Paul’s New Hampshire communications director said that Paul wasn’t talking about dropping out, but about participating in the earlier “2nd tier” debate.

Either way, it’s likely time for us to begin wondering who will be dropping out of the race next. While Paul’s campaign does seem to be struggling for relevance, he’s hardly in the bottom tier of candidates. The latest RCP poll average has him in 8th place among the 14 candidates just behind Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie (he trails them by ½ a point in the average of polls). However, this was not where the Paul campaign expected to be with less than 3 months left before primary voting began, and he is likely considering an exit strategy if things don’t turn around in the next few days.

I will be sad to see Senator Paul go, because I think he offers the best alternative to liberal policies that we see in the political arena today. However, while he’s won me over, he hasn’t been able to win over the vast majority of other GOP voters. That being said, if Paul is considering leaving the race, other candidates should definitely be dropping out ASAP. George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, and John Kasich should read the writing on the wall and drop out now – for the good of the party and the good of the country.

Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush should all be seriously contemplating calling it quits as well. While the public has flirted with Fiorina and Bush over the last few months, that love affair seems to have died off and the voters have moved on.

Dr. Ben Carson is in the same boat as Bush. While Carson still enjoys better poll numbers than Bush, those numbers have been collapsing over the last month or so, to the point that Carson has lost almost 50% of his support and now sits at about 13% in the RCP poll of polls. A far cry less that the 25% he used to enjoy…

At this point, with less than three months to go before voting opens in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, it seems that the “real” GOP field has shrunk to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. It would be nice if the debate stage reflected this reality.

 

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