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Eye On Candidates
March 30, 2015

Rand Paul Aims at Youth Voters

Rand Paul seems to be aiming to bring young voters into his fold, judging by this National Journal story:

Rand Paul’s Big, Risky Bet on Youth

When Sen. Rand Paul makes his first visit to Iowa as an official presidential candidate next month, he will head to the campus of the University of Iowa. The location—one of the state's biggest liberal strongholds—seems unusual for a Republican, but Paul is headed there in the hopes of appealing to a different constituency.

As Paul prepares to formally enter the 2016 arena, younger conservatives are emerging as a backbone of his campaign strategy: a source not only of volunteers and energy but votes. A youth-fueled campaign, his team hopes, will also help brand him as a fresh face for the future of the Republican Party.

From campaigning at universities (by the end of his coming trip, Paul will have hit both of the Iowa's biggest college towns already in 2015) to using Snapchat and doing interviews with MTV, Paul is focusing more on the next generation of Republicans than any of his GOP rivals."If you don't go to a platform where they are, you won't find them," Paul, who turned 52 in January, explained during his recent appearance at the South by Southwest festival...

As the headline suggests, it's a somewhat risky strategy, given that the youth vote tends to both underperform compared to other age groups and also typically favors Democrats over Republicans. But bringing new voters to the polls can be an effective way to win a nomination and general election, as President Obama can attest.