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Eye On Candidates
May 29, 2015

Is Rand Paul Having Money Problems?

Politico reports this morning that the Rand Paul campaign is frustrated by the lack of support from large donors to an independent SuperPAC backing his candidacy, and are worried about what it may mean for his ability to compete in the 2016 campaign:

Rand Paul's money problem

In a presidential campaign defined by billionaire sugar daddy donors, Rand Paul has a problem: He doesn’t seem to have one.

While his rivals cultivate wealthy backers who will pump millions of dollars into their candidacies, Paul has struggled to find a similar lifeline. It’s led to considerable frustration in his campaign, which, amid rising concerns that it will not be able to compete financially, finds itself leaning heavily on the network of small donors who powered his father’s insurgent White House bids...

The article provides a few thoughts on what may be holding back Paul's hopes:

Among those involved the 2016 money sweepstakes, theories of Paul’s struggles abound. Some point to his anti-establishment posture, which has alienated some in the business community — much of whose support has gone for Bush. Others say his more dovish foreign policy stances has turned off Jewish Republicans, many of whom view him as insufficiently pro-Israel. Still others say he’s found competition from Cruz, who like Paul has branded himself as a free-market thinker.

Others contend that Paul’s unpolished style might be working against him as he seeks out the support of wealthy Republican benefactors, While attending a California donor conference sponsored by Charles and David Koch, two of the nation’s most powerful Republican donors, Paul was criticized for dressing casually in jeans, slouching in his chair and giving rambling answers to questions. One person briefed on the Kochs’ thinking said Paul’s star has faded in their eyes, and that it’s now hard to see them providing substantial financial support to the Kentucky senator...

It's early in the race and there's plenty of time for Paul's campaign to attract the support of major backers, as well as to rake in the direct contributions needed to compete. But it's likely Paul's efforts will suffer if he doesn't have the same sort of independent support that several other candidates are likely to have.