Paul Finishes Fifth In Iowa, Vows To "Fight On"
Pinning his chances on a solid ground game and a reservoir of untapped young voters missed by major polls, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul hoped to make a surprisingly strong showing in Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, but the final tallies left the libertarian favorite trailing the frontrunners by a wide margin.
At a January rally, Paul predicted his campaign would “shock” election observers, but the results put him behind Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, real estate mogul Donald Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, and neurosurgeon Ben Carson. The junior senator vowed to continue his campaign, describing it as part of a larger movement to reclaim American liberty.
"Victor Hugo wrote that ideas are stronger than armies. I think the idea of liberty lives on in you, in us. We will continue to fight. Tonight is the beginning. Liberty will live on. We fight on. Thank you for all of your support," he told the audience at the Scottish Rite Consistory in Des Moines.
In all, Paul won about 5 percent of the vote in the Iowa contest.
The question now is how well the senator will fare in the states leading up to Kentucky’s Republican caucus on March 5 – an event Paul’s campaign helped engineer to get around a state law barring him from appearing on the ballot twice. A Real Clear Politics average of major polls in New Hampshire, the next primary state, puts the presidential hopeful at just under 3 percent.
Meanwhile, back home, Paul must fend off a challenge for his senate seat by Lexington Mayor Jim Gray.