This top Rand Paul donor just made a big endorsement in the presidential race

Originally published at Rare

Tech entrepreneur Scott Banister has long been an ally to the liberty movement. The angel investor, IronPort founder, and PayPal board member donated $3 million to a Rand Paul supporting Super PAC, and has been a vocal supporter of the libertarian Republican.

Now that Rand Paul is out of the presidential race, Banister has thrown his support behind Ted Cruz. Cruz is a self-described constitutional conservative who earned the endorsements of both Rand and Ron Paul in his 2012 Texas Senate race.

Cruz’s relationship with the Pauls soured somewhat during the campaign, particularly as he employed more hawkish undertones on foreign policy, and didn’t show up for Rand Paul’s recent Audit the Fed vote in the Senate.

To many Paul supporters however, Cruz seems like a logical second choice despite his imperfections. At the very least, he has stood against the U.S. pursuing regime changeabroad, and demonstrated some degree of willingness to reform the NSA.

Will Banister’s #LibertariansForCruz movement take off? Time will tell as Paul’s supporters realign.

Rand Paul makes a decision about who he’ll support in the Republican primary field

Originally published at Rare

Rand Paul ended his presidential campaign less than a week before the New Hampshire primary after he underperformed in the Iowa caucuses. Now Paul has announced that he won’t be endorsing in the primary.

Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, despite their differences with the libertarian-leaning senator, could gain votes from Paul supporters, and their recent actions show it.

Rubio extended an olive branch with positive comments about the liberty coalition, despite his prior sparring with Paul over foreign policy and civil liberties. And Ted Cruz immediatelystruck the same kind of libertarian-leaning tone he used to court Paul’s supporters during his 2012 Senate race.

While Paul will not make a primary endorsement, he has pledged to back the Republican nominee, just as he supported Mitt Romney when it was clear he was going to be the Republican pick in 2012

This dedication to his party places Senator Paul more firmly within the Republican coalition than his father, former congressman Ron Paul. Though he was a Republican, Ron Paul had a habit of refusing to offer his support to the GOP in general elections.

While Senator Paul’s exit is no doubt disappointing to his supporters, Republican activists and candidates have been supportive of Paul, happy to see that he’s working to keep his Senate seat in party hands.

Paul is being challenged in Kentucky by the mayor of Lexington, Democrat Jim Gray. His seat is considered safely Republican, and as Paul’s senior advisor Doug Stafford noted, he’s done a good job of representing Kentucky while on the campaign trail. His Senate attendance rate is 95 percent.

In a statement announcing the end of his campaign, Paul wrote, “It’s been an incredible honor to run a principled campaign for the White House. Today, I will end where I began, ready and willing to fight for the cause of Liberty.”

Paul touted the unique message his campaign brought to the table, citing his support for a restrained foreign policy, privacy rights, and criminal justice reform. He declared that “Brushfires of Liberty were ignited,” and that he plans to continue the fight in the Senate.

Rand Paul’s campaign may have ended, but the liberty movement is stronger than ever

Originally published at Rare

Building a movement takes generations. Progressives know this. Neoconservatives know this.

Libertarians ought to know it too.

Rand Paul’s exit from the presidential race is a short-term loss. Senator Paul stood as an intelligent contrast to the status quo amid constant calls for more debt and more war.

That crucial work doesn’t end with the suspension of one campaign.

Ron Paul has always said the liberty movement isn’t about any one person. While politicians like Rand Paul and allies such as Reps. Justin Amash and Thomas Massie certainly stand out, the cause of spreading liberty is just as diverse and broad as the free market itself.

It has become clear that at this moment in time, the American electorate was not prepared to support a liberty Republican for president.

But it doesn’t mean our work suddenly comes to a halt. We must continue to embrace an all-of-the-above approach to spreading our message.

Should we focus on politics? Work on single issues only? How about a third party? Or do we continue trying to influence the GOP? Isn’t education what matters more than changing the government? What about liberty-focused entrepreneurship?

Pursue all of it. Each and every facet.

Because the more that pro-liberty ideas are part of our discourse and culture, the better for everyone. Whether you’re impacting academia, government, business, or people’s worldviews, you’re making a difference.

It’s true that for many—especially those who’ve poured so much blood, sweat, and tears into the Rand Paul campaign—this news feels like a great loss. Mourning is appropriate.

But look around. What do you see?

Nearly a decade after I joined this movement, I detect a strong generational shift. The young Republicans I know are much friendlier to liberty than many in older generations. Men like Ron and Rand Paul helped bring them into the system, and everyone is playing their individual part.

The ideas of liberty are far more mainstream in both politics and public life than they were when I entered my twenties and heard about Ron Paul’s presidential campaign for the first time.

Our vast and growing liberty community is an achievement in its own right. Yes, there are factions. Yes, we have our differences. But we have organizational gusto. We’ve proven it before, and will continue to improve as time passes.

Now is not the time to give up, but rather to double down in our resolve.

“Today, I will end where I began: Ready and willing to fight for the cause of liberty,” said Rand Paul as he officially ended his presidential campaign.

But he wasn’t giving up on our overall campaign.

I hope you’ll join him in continuing to make a difference to the best of your abilities. We’ve fought hard and gained a lot of ground. Let your present disappointment morph into the courage needed to continue fighting on all fronts.

We’ve only just begun.

Marco Rubio is the new fresh face of the same old Republican Party

Originally published at Rare

I’ve long called Marco Rubio “stealth establishment.” He’s a young, first-term senator who beat a very moderate former governor in a primary during the 2010 tea party wave. He looks the part of an insurgent, and quite honestly was given the circumstances that year.

Now, in the presidential race, Rubio is defying convention again by refusing to “wait his turn,” taking on his one-time mentor Jeb Bush without official permission. He uses the fact that he doesn’t cower in the face of his senior rivals as part of a narrative that he’s locked in a battle with the old guard.

And the attack ads Jeb Bush’s Super PAC is running against him helps to bolster that image.

But none of this changes the fact that his policies are very much in line with the likes of Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Jeb Bush, whom he definitively beat out in Iowa. In fact, Bush’s former donors are increasingly lining up behind Rubio, because they seem to recognize he’s now their best shot at keeping the status quo in tact during the apparent year of the outsiders.

New look, same policies. Stealth establishment, indeed.

Economically, Rubio is warm to cronyism, especially when it relates to cashing checks frombig donors. Last year, I wrote about his push to ban online gambling at the behest of his casino magnate donor Sheldon Adelson, along with his Floridian embrace of sugar subsidies. And the ethanol mandate much heralded in Iowa? He claims he’d be open to phasing it out. But ask him again in seven years.

On foreign policy, you’d be hard pressed to find a Republican more committed to the ideological neoconservatism that defined George W. Bush’s presidency – and proved so unpopular that it laid the groundwork for Barack Obama’s rise.

Rubio has consistently called for more U.S. intervention in places like Iraq, Libya, and Syria. And he speaks in apocalyptic terms of “civilizational conflicts” in which the U.S. military must intervene at all costs – even if there’s no discernible American interest at stake.

On civil liberties, count Rubio as a committed member of the Feinstein-McCain bipartisan coalition aligned against the 4th amendment. And he holds similarly retrograde positions on criminal justice reform, believing states should be prosecuted for legalizing marijuana, and taking little interest in ongoing bipartisan efforts to fix a bloated and unfair system.

Though I have written that at this point, I believe Marco Rubio will ultimately win the Republican nomination, I agree with Dan McCarthy’s analysis at The American Conservative: “Should all proceed according to plan, the fresh-faced establishment Republican champion then goes to face the haggard old champion of the Democratic establishment, Hillary Clinton, in November.”

“Whoever wins, the cause of peace and limited government loses,” McCarthy adds.

How much would the two establishment candidates differ? The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf observed recently, “If Hillary Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, it will be interesting to see… how Rubio would attack a woman who shares so many of his foreign-policy instincts.”

Rubio is broadly committed to activist government as a rule. Like most Republicans, he’d be better on economic issues than virtually any Democrat, despite some looming corporatist tendencies. But his willingness to recklessly add to our $19 trillion debt in pursuit of “spreading democracy” shows that he and Hillary Clinton are two sides of the same coin. Rubio’s conservative critics have said he wants to boost spending significantly, to the tune of $1 trillion or more. PolitiFact backs up those claims.

Rubio can continue to reject that he’s the old guard’s savior. Politically, who can blame him? But even he probably knows this really isn’t true.

Rubio is the perfect stealth establishment candidate to counter the rise of Trump and Cruz. I expect many of his congressional colleagues to continue coalescing around him as Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) did this week – bringing the number of endorsements he’s received from his upper chamber colleagues to five.

Most conservatives would choose Rubio over Clinton if they become the two major party options. But no one who’s paying attention should be surprised when Marco Rubio’s promise of a “New American Century” quickly proves to be a throwback to the big government Republicanism of a decade ago.

Clinton and Sanders Were Tied in Iowa and The Way Hillary Won is Shady

Originally published at Every Joe

The Democratic Iowa caucus proceedings were a nail-biter for both the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders camps. Some recent polls showed Sanders leading Clinton, and conventional wisdom suggested that high-turnout was good for the insurgent socialist Sanders, who is popular among progressive activists. The final tally put Clinton just slightly ahead of Sanders, with a spread of 49.9% to 49.5%. But Clinton’s declaration of victory is being viewed by many as illegitimate.

As The Hill reported, “The Democrats do not rely on paper ballots for caucuses — supporters instead physically cluster together and are counted by precinct chairs. That means there are no provisions for a recount on the Democratic side, since those events are not possible to recreate.” Not only is the inability to do a recount problematic to begin with, there was the strange matter in this instance of lost delegates.

The Des Moines Register explained it this way:

“A total of 484 eligible caucus attendees were initially recorded at the site. But when each candidate’s preference group was counted, Clinton had 240 supporters, Sanders had 179 and Martin O’Malley had five (causing him to be declared non-viable). Those figures add up to just 424 participants, leaving 60 apparently missing. When those numbers were plugged into the formula that determines delegate allocations, Clinton received four delegates and Sanders received three — leaving one delegate unassigned.”

When faced with that situation, the Sanders campaigned called a Democratic Party hotline and Party officials actually recommended that they allocate the delegate using a coin toss. This happened in five other caucus situations as well and interestingly enough, Clinton’s camp won the toss each time. In the wake of this situation, the Sanders camp is obviously perturbed.

A Sanders aide is claiming that the Democratic Party of Iowa insufficiently staffed 90 caucus sites, which has led to the Party reaching out to campaigns to self-report the data – a problematic proposition in and of itself, but even more so because there’s no paper trail. The state Party is denying these allegations, but as The Hill reported, “The Iowa Democrats did not elaborate as to why the campaigns may have a better handle on where the party’s precinct chairs are than the party itself.”

Since a recount is impossible and the Democratic Party of Iowa is denying any wrongdoing, it doesn’t seem as if Sanders’ concerns will be met with with much response. This drama however, could have the effect of chilling Clinton’s support moving forward. Sanders’ backers are already fed up with the Democratic establishment to begin with, and this simply adds more fuel to their fire.

The current New Hampshire polling average calculated by Real Clear Politics shows Sanders with 55.8% and Clinton registering at 37.7% a week before the February 9th primary. The latest poll, conducted by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, shows Sanders with an astounding 63% and Clinton at 30%. New Hampshire borders Sanders’ home state of Vermont.

While Clinton’s camp is no doubt nervous, an aide said during the caucus that they were heartened to learn higher turnout didn’t lead to a Sanders upset. But it was certainly close enough to be a problem for them. While Clinton may well lose New Hampshire, her strategy is widely understood to be a focus on consolidating her base by the March 1st Super Tuesday contest. She polls much better with minorities and older Democrats than Sanders, and expects to perform better than him in most areas, particularly the south. It’s still possible however, that a New Hampshire victory could change Sanders’ fortunes and give Clinton yet another run for her money like an insurgent Barack Obama did in 2008.

Ted Cruz Beat Donald Trump in Iowa, But the Real Story is About Marco Rubio

Originally published at Every Joe

Ted Cruz edged out Donald Trump for a victory on the Republican side, which is no doubt the biggest story to come out of the Iowa caucus. But for all the hype about newly registered voters and unprecedented turnout allegedly favoring Trump, he underperformed compared to the polls. To Republicans like me who believe that stopping Trump is paramount (and there are many of us),Cruz beating the braggadocious businessman by 6,233 votes was a positive achievement. But the real story might just be what happened down ballot.

Marco Rubio came in third place, but he won Iowa’s most populous, business conservative oriented areas. His first place showings in Dallas, Polk, Story, Johnson and Scott counties were enough to place him only 4,284 votes behind Trump. This is a good sign for Rubio, whom the Clinton machine undeniably sees as Hillary’s biggest threat. Whether he can again outperform the polls in New Hampshire, where Trump has an even bigger lead, is an open question. But the nature of his Iowa win is a boost for the young Senator, especially as he works to compete in states such as South Carolina, Nevada and his home turf of Florida.

While Rubio’s performance came as a surprise to many, there were a few polls that detected a last minute surge for the candidate that many of Jeb Bush’s former donors have now coalesced around. As Sarah Rumpf wrote at Opportunity Lives hours prior to the caucus, “After a wild week of news, the final polls released before the Iowa presidential caucuses, the first in the nation, show the race tightening between the three front-runners. One poll even showed a statistical tie between Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.).”

The polls in question were conducted by the Atlanta-based Opinion Savvy and Emerson College in Boston. Though they both showed Trump edging out Cruz, those polls captured the last minute surge that propelled Rubio to the point where he nearly pushed the longstanding frontrunner into third place. What fueled this cannot be known for certain but Rubio is increasingly seen as the most electable Republican in establishment circles, even as a Jeb Bush Super PAC spent more than $61 million – much of it allocated for attacks on Rubio. The fact that Rubio did well in the most moderate parts of Iowa while stealing a largely unexpected portion of the evangelical vote from Cruz and Trump certainly makes the case for him as a consensus candidate moving forward.

While it’s true that Iowa is not always a bellwether – John McCain barely competed there in 2008, coming in fourth just ahead of Ron Paul – this year’s contest seems to indicate that Trump’s support, which registers high nationwide, may be thinner than the polls show – even amid record turnout. In 2012, 122,000 Republicans caucused. That number increased to approximately 182,000 this time around. And as he said he would, Cruz rode to victory on the back of the evangelical vote. While Trump earned the somewhat unexpected and high profile endorsement of evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. just weeks before the caucus, that came with harsh criticism from several faith leaders who pointed out Trump’s lack of solidarity with their values.

“Portraying this lost soul as a brother in Christ is not only doing wrong to Trump himself, it preaches an anti-gospel to all who hear” said Russell Moore, president of the ethics and religious liberty commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. Comments such as this likely weighed on the minds of many evangelicals, not to mention Trump’s biblically illiterate “Two Corinthians” commentand his inability to distinguish between a communion plate and an offering plate during an Iowa church service. Unsurprisingly, entrance polls show Cruz performed best among voters who sought a candidate that shares their values.

Ultimately, Rand Paul underperformed compared to what many of his sympathizers, myself included, had hoped from him. He spent a good deal of time leading up to the caucus touting his ground game and ability to turn out college students. Many held out hope that he’d edge out Ben Carson, who seemed per many polls to be fading, but that didn’t quite happen. Carson placed a distant fourth at 9.3% after Rubio’s 23.1%, and Paul came in fifth at 4.5%. While it’s notable that Paul beat out the original Republican establishment choices in Bush, John Kasich and Chris Christie, and his top-five finish solidified Iowa as a largely pro-outsider contest, his campaign had hinged a lot of its hopes for future momentum on the caucuses.

It was strong polling in Iowa that put Paul back on the debate stage after failing to qualify for a Fox Business debate in mid-January. His fifth place finish ultimately reflected the polling in question, but his campaign had pushed the narrative that he would shock in Iowa with the help of young voters – and that largely failed to happen. Polls currently show him with 3% in New Hampshire and2.4% nationwide. It will be extremely notable if Paul can outperform Bush, Kasich and Christie again in the Granite State, but current polling pegs that as unlikely.

Moving forward, all eyes will undoubtedly be on Cruz, Trump and Rubio. Many pundits are predicting a post-Iowa bump for Rubio in New Hampshire as a result of his strong finish. Though Bush, Kasich and Christie are all polling much better in the Granite State than their lackluster performances in Iowa, expect Rubio to emerge as the consensus candidate fairly quickly if none of them are able to convincingly edge him out in New Hampshire. Where the contest will go from here is still an open question but there’s no doubt that Trump underperformed, Rubio overperformed and Cruz still has a lot of work to do if he wants to convince average Republican voters that he’s capable of beating Hillary Clinton. So far, Rubio owns the argument that he’s the best qualified for that crucial task.

The last poll before the Iowa Caucus seems to prove Rand Paul right about young voters

Originally published at Rare

The Iowa caucus is today, and while Rand Paul has seen just a slight bump in recent polls, he maintains that traditional polling hasn’t captured the extent of his support, especially among young people.

On Sunday, Real Clear Politics added a poll to their election average conducted by Opinion Savvy, which includes voters contacted on their cell phones.

The results seem to vindicate Paul’s claims.

In this poll, the data provided by likely Republican caucus-goers is broken into voters contacted by landline versus those reached on their mobile devices.

Of voters polled on cell phones, Paul is tied for first place with 26.5 percent of the vote. Paul wins outright among voters between the ages of 18-29, capturing 22.5 percent of their vote.

Overall, this poll gives Paul 8.6 percent of the vote, placing him in a tie for 4th (within the poll’s margin of error).

The most telling aspect of this data is that it potentially demonstrates how little of Paul’s support has been captured in most polls. Iowans contacted by landline break for Paul at a rate of only 1.7 percent. This means that the vast majority of polls have missed out on the 26.5 percent of mobile-using Paul supporters; a significant percentage of people.

How would reporting this kind of polling data have affected the general public’s preferences in other polls? It’s probably too late to know that.

But we will learn soon whether this polling translates to support for Paul in Iowa heading into caucus night.

Paul remains confident. As he explained to Rare last week, his campaign’s overall ground game is impressive. His Super PAC’s work is extensive too. And Paul’s team is counting on the fact that college students are back from winter break and on campus, which wasn’t the case during Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 candidacies.

This poll reflects that Paul is the choice candidate of young Iowan Republicans, in the same way the candidate has long been claiming.

Now it’s all about turnout.

Ron and Rand Paul are holding a big rally together on the eve of the Iowa Caucus

Originally published at Rare

Sunday at 8PM ET former Congressman Ron Paul will join his son Senator Rand Paul at the University of Iowa for a “The Revolution Continues” rally.

As Sen. Paul explained to Rare in a recent interview, he believes the liberty vote will “come home,” and that his father’s backers will caucus in Iowa in support of his candidacy.

Regarding his Iowa ground game, Paul told Rare that he has captains in over 1,000 precincts, and that his volunteers have made calls and knocked on doors aggressively, putting him ahead of other campaigns in the state.

“These are feats that have been unheralded by the media,” said Paul.

Prior to Sunday evening’s rally, Paul held an event in Dubuque, Iowa with Rep. Thomas Massie, a fellow Kentuckian and liberty advocate who is helping to rally Paul’s troops in Iowa before Monday’s caucus.

Massie won his northern Kentucky congressional seat in 2012 with Paul’s endorsement.

To watch “The Revolution Continues” rally live, tune into Rand Paul’s Periscope livestream at 8PM ET/7 PM CT.

National School Choice Week and the Perils of Government Monopolies

Originally published at Every Joe

It’s National School Choice Week, an annual affair built on advocacy in pursuit of “effective education options for every child.” According to the group’s website, “The goal of National School Choice Week (NSCW) is to raise public awareness of all types of education options for children. These options include traditional public schools, public charter schools, magnet schools, online learning, private schools, and homeschooling.”

To an individual who isn’t embroiled in the politics of education, this sounds like a commonsense statement. Why subvert the needs of children to empower government and its special interests? Unfortunately, this question answers itself: The culprits are typically money and power. As a result, the issue of school choice is more complicated than it seems on its face, primarily due to the government’s long-held monopoly on education.

Eighty-three percent of children in the United States attend a traditional public school. This means that generally speaking, their education options are limited to the government-run school district that their families happen to live in. This can work out if a child is from a decently affluent area, the schools are good, and his or her parents are engaged with their education. But for disproportionately low-income children trapped in failings schools, lack of choice in education can be a nightmare that sets them up for a lifetime of underperformance.

School choice comes in many forms and, despite its increasing popularity, there are myriad roadblocks to its success. One of the most well-known and popular alternatives to traditionally zoned public schools are charter schools. These are semi or fully publicly funded entities that function as non-profits, led by a private board. Other models include vouchers or education savings accounts; both of which essentially function as a tax credit given to families with which they are allowed to make their own educational and school placement decisions.

Critics of the charter model, including socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, say these schools are focused more on profits than education. “I’m not in favor of privately-run charter schools,” said Sanders to a New Hampshire audience earlier this month. “If we are going to have a strong democracy and be competitive globally, we need the best educated people in the world. And I believe in public education,” he added. (It’s unclear whether Sanders realizes charter schools are public and that on balance they outperform traditional models.)

Critics also claim that voucherizing education – insofar as taxpayer money could be spent at a private school – has the same allegedly negative impact. But there are some major problems with these notions. First is the basic idea, as Sanders claims, that charters are profiting. They’re typically set up as non-profits for a reason; their board members aren’t investors. And secondly, even if they were making a profit, from the perspective of a free market advocate, so what? Profits are the engine of innovation; the more the better. Yet people who are ideologically committed to government centralization malign the efficacy of profits, and naturally tend to oppose choice in education because it undermines the top-down system they so admire.

But not all opposition to school choice is driven by ideology alone. Teachers’ unions are unfortunately one of the biggest opponents of a competitive market in education – and they’ve done a disservice by pitting the demands of public school teachers against what years of data proves is best for children. As Diana Furchtgott-Roth and Jared Meyer wrote at The Manhattan Institute, “The tripling of funding to schools has not benefited students. Powerful teachers’ unions have directed this funding to pay raises for themselves and increased hiring, as student achievement has stagnated.” As they noted, the U.S. went from having the world’s highest graduation high school graduation rate post World War II, to spending the most money per student in the world while falling drastically performance-wise.

This is no doubt an indication that something is fundamentally wrong with the model, not the amount of money being poured into it. And where charter schools are tried, the results speak for themselves. A popular case study proving this point is New Orleans. Post Hurricane Katrina, the city’s public schools were virtually wiped out. In a moment of crisis, the city allowed charter schools to come in and take over. What resulted was so impressive, the model has stayed intact for ten years – and is going strong.

As Jonathan Alter wrote at The Daily Beast last year, pleading with liberals to support school choice, “The results in New Orleans are impressive. Over the last decade, graduation rates have surged from 54 percent to 73 percent, and college enrollment after graduation from 37 percent to 59 percent. (There’s also a new emphasis on helping those who attend college to complete it.) Before Katrina, 62 percent of schools were failing. Today, it’s 6 percent.”

This is an incredibly impressive feat. And it’s worth noting that 85 percent of students attending New Orleans public schools are African-American, many of whom come from low-income families. These are ostensibly the people presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton (who has also spoken out against charters) seek to help with their top-down approach to education. Yet the model they’re pushing is an outdated, monopolistic failure. In fact, data shows that competition from charter schools actually improves the traditionally zoned ones. But yet again, we have politicians putting the interests of a union over the needs of low-income children.

Innovation should always be a key component in education. Yet all too often it’s stifled in favor of stale, rigid models that assume one-size-fits-all. The truth is this is almost never the case, especially when it comes to the art of teaching individual students. And on the measure of retaining and educating challenging students, charters manage to outperform traditional public schools as well. There’s simply no doubt that more choice in education leads to better outcomes for students, particularly those who come from families that cannot afford alternatives. To the extent that we can free the market in education and make it as vibrant as possible, the better. Here’s to National School Choice Week and their lobbying efforts. May it pay off, for the sake of the nation’s future.

This Rand Paul Super PAC is making waves before the Iowa caucus

Concerned American Voters (CAV), a Rand Paul super PAC run by Young Americans for Liberty President Jeff Frazee and former FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe, raised $3 million in the third fundraising quarter—the last before the Iowa caucus.

Rare spoke with CAV President Frazee about how they’re reaching and persuading voters.

“Since June, we had around 40 full-time field staffers in Iowa knock on doors and make phone calls,” said Frazee. “In that time, we made more than 1.1 million voter contacts and identified over 165,000 likely caucus goers. More than 37,000 of these likely caucus goers said they were voting for Rand, likely voting for Rand, or maybe voting for Rand.”

Frazee explained that this identification has allowed CAV to target persuadable voters with a sophisticated digital campaign. The group has produced a series of 15 second, 30 second, 60 second, and 8+ minute videos, which are being used to help mobilize Paul’s supporters.

As he noted, “We have purchased more than 33 million ad impressions and 2.5 million video views, largely focused at our targeted lists. Of the voters on our list, we’re confident we have saturated their internet experience with up to 75 percent of the ad space they view.”

Frazee told Rare the CAV’s ads were developed based on several rounds of testing to determine which messages are persuasive to voters. The topics that performed well were Paul’s correct predictions about the perils of arming jihadists, and strong condemnations of politicians for getting us into $18 trillion in debt.

Frazee said that by the time the Iowa caucus arrives, the group will have spent $1 million on targeted online advertising alone. As he explained, “Voters are craving a better understanding of Rand, and we think our messaging has helped to deliver that.”

One of the videos, a ten-minute expose heralding Paul as the leader America needs, has nearly 580,000 likes and over 11,000 shares on Facebook. And its length is a feature not a bug when it comes to advertising.

“The long-form video … is the most persuasive in terms of getting people to either change their opinion on Rand or decide that Rand is their candidate,” said Frazee.

“It does a great job of getting the message across and we have been pleasantly surprised by the high percentage of view rates” he added.

Rand Paul: The most interesting man in politics.

Posted by Vote for Rand on Wednesday, January 13, 2016

In addition to the above video, Frazee noted that an additional eleven-minute spot comparing Rand Paul to Ronald Reagan has similar view rates and persuasive abilities.

Rand Paul Stands For Liberty, Peace and ProsperityWatch this awesome video to understand why Rand Paul deserves your vote. He is principled. He is good. He CAN win! #standwithrand #voteforrand

Posted by Vote for Rand on Saturday, January 23, 2016

While innovative digital strategy has been a major focus, CAV is also mobilizing voters they’ve identified, making sure they have all of the information needed to participate in their caucus. Frazee shared an example of the bright-colored mailers they’re sending. These are expected to land in the mailboxes of Paul supporting voters this week.

While the Iowa caucus is less than a week away and is where CAV has spent a lot of their energy, the group is also looking ahead to New Hampshire and Nevada. They’re targeting voters both on the ground and through a digital strategy in the two key early states as well, and have the resources to carry on as needed.

“Everything [CAV] has done has been very data driven. We’ve made sure to check our own intuitions and opinions at the door, and let the data tell us what messaging is strongest and what’s resonating with voters,” said Frazee.