"The secret to his success is his authenticity," said Democratic consultant Jeff Crosby, who grew up in Paul's district. "He's an authentic nut."
Tea party godfather Ron Paul running for president →
"Just the mere fact that he does what he says he's going to do, regardless of how nutty or ineffective it may be, they like it," Crosby said. "A lot of folks along the coast have never expected much from government, and they're getting it."