Warning: This is satire. It is not based on information obtained from or provided by any candidate.
It’s highly unlikely that Rand Paul will be elected President, because it’s highly unlikely that he can win the GOP nomination. That’s partly because the GOP exists in a state of extreme denial with respect to the realities of demographic and socio-psychographic trends; and partly because the GOP is controlled by puppet-masters like Grover Norquist, Al Cardenas and Karl Rove. But it’s interesting and instructional to contemplate what might happen if Paul did get the nom; and that is today’s mission.
Bottom line: Senator Paul’s best chance to become POTUS is a scrap of turf at an intersection where right-wing libertarian Republicans, left-wing liberal Democrats and Millennials meet.
Here’s the four-part calculus.
1) If Paul wins the nomination, Orthodox Republicans (ORs) will vote for him, because they always vote for their nominee, no matter who it is, or how awful, unqualified or incompetent he might be. For example, if the GOP nominated Satan and the Democrats nominated Jesus Christ, the ORs would vote for Satan. About half of all Republicans are ORs.
2) Regardless of who the Dems nominate, the usual percentage of Dems who backed other candidates will have out-of-joint noses and cast protest votes, either by voting for an independent candidate if there is one (and there always is), or by voting for Paul, or by not voting at all. In any case, the net effect would be the same: advantage Paul. (See 1992, when Ross Perot aided Bill Clinton’s election.)
3) Although disparate in numerous ways, right-wing libertarian Republicans and left-wing liberal Dems agree with Paul on certain issues, like anti-statism, decriminalization/legalization of pot and opposition to endless wars with no hope of resolution. Paul can count on getting most of the right-wing libertarian Republicans and at least a handful of the left-wing liberal Dems.
4) Millennials, who are overwhelmingly registered (60%) in neither major party, also tend to be anti-statist, anti-war and supportive of decriminalization/legalization of pot. They also prefer younger candidates, and regardless of who the Dems nominate, Paul is likely to be younger than her/him. (He is 52 at this writing.)
So if Paul wins the nom; forges a coalition of right-wing libertarian Republicans, left-wing liberal Democrats and Millenials; and holds on to the ORs, he could be POTUS.
As noted, it’s a highly unlikely scenario, mostly because Paul won’t be the nominee unless something really extraordinary happens to upend the GOP decision-making process – like a puppet-masters’ colloquium convening off the Caymans on a mega-yacht owned by somebody like Sheldon Adelson, and a Cat 4 hurricane blows up out of nowhere and sinks it.
See there? That’s satire.