As election season gets into full swing, yet another potential presidential hopeful is making his way through the Hawkeye state.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul spent time in Davenport Tuesday on day two of his three-day trip across Iowa. Paul toured the Von Maur Corporate Headquarters before speaking at the Scott County Republican office in support of GOP candidates on the November ticket.
“I’m gonna remind you, we lost in Iowa. President Obama won last time and the time before. So, there’s not enough of you. There’s a bunch of you here today, but it’s not enough. We have to have a bigger party,” said Paul, addressing a crowd of nearly 100.
Paul focused much of his 13-minute speech on broadening the traditional base of the Republican party, appealing to groups like young people, minorities, and those struggling financially.
“We’ve gotta meet people where they are,” said Paul. “We have to reach out to people who haven’t been hearing it, who might hear something different about our message. We need to reach out to young people and say, ‘Your phone is your business.'”
Sen. Paul has garnered attention as a possible presidential candidate in 2016. That race was already on the minds of many voters who listened to him speak Tuesday afternoon.
“He’s a lot like his dad, but he’s a little more mainstream,” said Taylor Amey. “A lot of the things, such as NSA snooping and reducing drug sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, are things I care about, especially as a young person.”
Paul’s focus on growing the party also seemed to resonate with many attendees.
“I think that’s key,” said Keith Timm. “His message indicated that we need to bring more people back to the party, and I can attest to that fact. I have six children, and most of them are disinterested in politics, mainly because it’s politics as usual. I think if they were to take the opportunity to listen to this young man, I think they would hear a refreshing new story.”
While Paul has not yet officially announced his intentions for 2016, an average of all the polls from Real Clear Politics shows Paul, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in nearly a dead heat for the Republican nomination.