As the Iowa caucus quickly approaches, Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential campaign continues to focus on its potential saving grace — younger voters.
Vincent Harris, Paul’s chief digital strategist, told TheBlaze that as younger voters were the “key” to former Texas Rep. Ron Paul’s success, so will they be for his son during the 2016 presidential election.
“The millennial generation appreciates, perhaps more than any other generation, Sen. Paul’s message, and the theme of starting a political revolution appeals to young folks,” Harris said. “As we approach the caucuses and voters begin to really look at the candidates, it will continue to be so.”
While the senator prepares to campaign through the Hawkeye State later this week, the campaign released a new video that depicts several younger people proclaiming their support for the libertarian-leaning senator and repeating such buzzwords as “freedom,” “liberty” and “Constitution.”
As those featured in the video encourage their peers to join what the campaign is calling “the Iowa 10,000” — the goal of getting 10,000 students out to the Iowa caucuses — Paul is seen in a few scenes sipping a beer and hanging out with the students.
“For the first time in years, the Iowa Caucus is scheduled to take place while college is in session,” Cliff Maloney, Paul’s national youth coordinator, told TheBlaze on Monday. “This means that for the first time in years, the youth vote matters, and this is not something they take lightly. The mainstream media and the political consultant class typically undermines the youth vote.”
“And while [younger voters] might not be included in mainstream media polls, they will certainly show up when it matters most, on Feb. 1,” Maloney said.
Paul is polling at just under 3 percent in Iowa — which isn’t too different from his national polling, according to Real Clear Politics’ aggregated polling data.
It’s Paul’s stances on issues such as criminal justice reform and privacy that have set him apart from other presidential candidates — on either side of the aisle — when it comes to younger voters, according to Maloney.
“I am confident his message will resonate on college campuses in Iowa and nationwide,” he said.
Harris told TheBlaze that the messaging of Paul’s campaign has been a “group affair” as Paul is “very active in the thematic, message and communications plans of the campaign.” Yet, it’s also been his father’s influence, a former U.S. representative and three-time presidential contender, that has molded the younger Paul’s messaging.
“Of course, some of the most engaging and active messages have been related to items that have built upon Congressman Ron Paul’s themes of liberty, individual freedoms and the Constitution,” Harris said. “One of these has been the grassroots-inspired ‘Ron Paul Revolution’ theme that began online and took the campaign by storm in 2008 and 2012.”
Harris said the “revolution” message — or “central” theme of the campaign — harkens back to the American Revolution and the events of the country’s founding, such as the “public discussion around the need to balance the power of the federal government with individual and state freedoms.”
“It’s something unique in the Republican Party that only Sen. Paul is discussing and only Sen. Paul has led his life discussing and fighting for the Constitution,” Harris said.