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Rand Paul Remains Optimistic About Presidential Bid

Alix Mattingly

U.S. Sen. Rand is discrediting polling that shows him trailing badly for the Republican presidential nomination, and says he believes his White House bid will “exceed expectations.”

A recent average of seven national polls performed in December shows Paul garnering less than 2.5 percent in the crowded GOP field.

But this week, Paul said he believes those polls miss a key pocket of support for his campaign.

"We think that a lot of young people are not included in polls, college students and younger people with cell phones, and we think that's where our great strength is," Paul told WKU Public Radio on Monday.

"We also think we do better with independents than any other candidates, and independents are allowed to vote in the caucus in Iowa and the primary in New Hampshire."

Paul said he would re-assess his campaign early next year, after elections are held in the four early-voting states. He said he believes the GOP race for president is still wide open because of the number of undecided voters.

"The polls that are out there are kind of like American Idol," Paul said.  "They're sort of a quick popularity contest, but they aren't necessarily polling voters."

Of his rivals for the GOP nomination, Paul said he finds Donald Trump’s front-runner status to be concerning and believes the controversial Republican would be "wiped out in a landslide" in the general election. But Paul added that he would support Trump if he becomes the nominee.

Kentucky Republicans will cast votes for the GOP presidential nomination during a caucus in March. The party chose to hold a caucus — instead of the traditional May primary — because state law prohibited Paul from seeking the presidency and re-election to his Senate seat at the same time.

Lisa Autry