Rand Paul’s Appeal To The Young

by Dish Staff

Harry Enten thinks it has been greatly exaggerated:

Since the beginning of the year, there have been eight live-interview national polls that detail results among young voters (ages Paul Youth Vote18 to 29 or 18 to 34), and matched Paul against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Together, these polls give us the views of more than 1,000 young voters. The same polls matched Clinton against Christie. The surveys show that young voters don’t see any difference between Paul and other Republican politicians. …

The median of the eight surveys shows that among young voters, Paul trails by 17 percentage points more than he trails among all voters. That would represent a slight improvement over Romney, who lost young voters by 20 points more than he did voters overall. Still, Paul’s and Romney’s relative performances with young voters are within the margin of error of each other.

Ponnuru points out that Paul’s performance with young voters was underwhelming when he won his Senate seat:

Maybe Paul would do better with young voters as the Republican nominee in 2016 than any of the other possibilities. He makes a plausible case that his brand of politics — skeptical of military intervention, the drug war and domestic surveillance — ought to find favor with them.

In its one electoral test so far, though, Paul’s brand of Republican politics has done roughly the same as the generic version.

Chait adds:

Paul and his allies have won quite a propaganda coup by implanting the notion that he offers a unique appeal to the youngest voters. (Buoyed by the Times Magazine endorsement, and undaunted by the gaping holes in its data, Reason is plunging ahead with its predictions of the libertarian future.) It could happen. There is no reason to think it will.