What Is Rand Paul’s Ceiling?

Nate Cohn doubts the young Senator can win the youth vote:

Despite the big political risks, Paul’s libertarianism doesn’t offer the GOP many benefits in return. While some might interpret his strength among younger voters as a sign that the GOP could benefit from a more libertarian tone, 59 percent of young voters believe that the government “should do more.” Young voters are libertarian on cultural issues, but Paul is pro-life and against gay marriage. Even if young voters were libertarian on economic issues, the GOP’s small-government message attracts many of the same voters persuaded by economic libertarianism, without the cost of questionable ideas like ending the Fed. If Paul’s proposals for restraint abroad and marijuana at home would help Republicans, the party would be best served by attaching those proposals to a more traditional conservative, not Rand Paul.

Larison counters:

 The question isn’t whether a Republican candidate could win the Millennial vote, which seems unrealistic at this point, but whether there is someone in the party who stands a good chance of reducing the gap from 20+ points to something closer to 5 or 10. Would someone like Paul be able to reduce the gap? Maybe. Paul seems to be the only one who is interested in making the effort, and none of his possible 2016 rivals seems to have the first clue what Millennials prefer.