Will Rand Paul Have to Risk His Senate Seat for the Presidency?


The Louisville, Kentucky's Courier-Journal highlights one big potential roadblock to Rand Paul's likely run for president: that it might prevent him from running simultaneously for his Senate seat, which he'd have to do in 2016 as well. (If he wanted to remain a senator, that is.)

A new poll shows Kentuckians might not be inclined to change existing state election law to make things easier for Paul:

only 15 percent of Kentucky registered voters think Paul should run for both offices, the survey finds. By a 24-22 percent split, slightly more believe he should run only for his Senate seat than make a bid for the White House. And a third of voters oppose the freshman senator running for anything.

Paul enjoys a 39 percent favorability rating in the state, the poll shows. Thirty-two percent of registered voters view the senator unfavorably, while 24 percent say they are neutral.

The National Journal wrote last month with more on the situation Paul finds himself in—and why the actual polled will of the people of Kentucky might not be what matters:

Under current Kentucky law, Paul must choose to be on the ballot for one or the other. His Republican allies in the Kentucky state Senate have already pushed through a measure to let him run for both, but it has languished in the state's Democratic-controlled House.

"Our position is that a man who can't decide which office to run for isn't fit for either office," said Democratic Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo. "I don't think that bill will ever see the light of day as long as I hold the gavel."

Paul has been helping Kentucky Republicans fight this year to win back control of the state House to pave the way for him. Lyndon Johnson successfully got Texas law changes in 1960 to allow him to run for both the Senate and the presidency/vice presidency, the National Journal notes.