[caption id="attachment_143007" align="aligncenter" width="3492"] Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., delivers a speech during an appearance at the Five Sullivan Brothers Convention Center in Waterloo, Iowa, Friday, July 31, 2015. (Brandon Pollock/The Courier via AP)
Rand Paul’s presidential campaign is in trouble.
According to Politico, the Paul campaign struggles with low morale, weak fundraising, and a failure to capitalize on the network of supporters his father had during his 2008 and 2012 campaigns.
All of these problems have resulted in low poll numbers. In the Quinnipiac University poll, Paul hasn’t cracked 8 percent this year, and the most recent July poll placed his support at 6 percent. In January 2014, he was able to garner 13 percent.
Paul’s campaign has had negative press coverage of this sort since early June. The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and FiveThirtyEight have all pondered what will -- or won’t -- become of Rand Paul.
But Brian Doherty of Reason sees this coverage as overblown:
"Making predictions or bold declarations or clear implications about who will do well or win next year based on current fund raising, polling, or internal campaign grousing is pretty silly, though the hungry demands of column inches necessitate political writers doing so."
Doherty has a point: During the election cycle, a glut of trash gets written to fill the void. It’s hard to determine what is wisdom and what is nonsense until weeks or months after the fact.
Beyond that, trying to organize and attract Ron Paul supporters can be like trying to herd cats. Libertarian-types aren't as forgiving for perceived ideological failings. If Rand makes too many missteps early, that base won't be motivated to support his campaign and do the groundwork necessary to win.