Ever since the Rand-Paul-is-dead stories started popping up this summer, I've been telling people the real sign Paul is on the way out will be if Salon stops running pieces warning liberals that he's a right-wing troglodyte and starts scolding Republicans for rejecting such a progressive alternative. Today we entered that stage of the campaign:
[Voters' preference for Trump over Paul] reveals that most GOP voters are not libertarian like Rand Paul, and that his honesty on certain issues, especially when he speaks out against war, advocates diplomacy, and criticizes the government spying on its own citizens, hurts his standing in the Grand Old Party….
[L]iberals and libertarians tend to see eye to eye on somewhere around half of the issues (typically relating to civil rights), while they disagree on other things like the free market and income inequality. These issues—war, civil rights, criminal justice reform—are what make Paul an outsider in the Republican Party.
Whether you agreed with him or not during the last two debates, Paul did bring substance to otherwise fruitless events. But it seems that most GOP voters do not care about substance, and prefer entertaining and pompous loudmouths who embrace their irrational fears, insecurities and prejudices.
You can read the rest here. The article does include some passing criticisms of Paul, so perhaps he still has a sliver of a chance. But if he wants to get his candidacy back on track, he'd better hope Salon and MSNBC are back to denouncing him by the time the polls open in New Hampshire.