- The Washington Times - Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sen. Rand Paul insisted Sunday that his support in Iowa for the GOP presidential nomination is larger than many people realize, saying polls are skewed toward older voters instead of the students and young folks who have rallied to his pro-liberty message.

The Kentucky Republican said his army of campaign volunteers has called 1 million voters in the state ahead the party caucuses on Monday.

“I think we’ve called them so much we know them by name by now,” Mr. Paul he told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

The candidate said he could be fighting across party lines with Democratic candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont independent, for younger Iowans who might be new to the caucuses, and that his push for a cease-fire in Syria offers a serious contrast to his GOP rivals, who seem to want to bomb their way out of the Islamic State threat in the Middle East.

“We’re going to surprise a lot of people on Monday,” he said.

A new Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll puts Mr. Paul in fifth place, with 5 percent of likely GOP caucus-goers.

That puts him behind businessman Donald Trump (28 percent), Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (23 percent), Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (15 percent) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (10 percent), but ahead of candidates such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. Josh Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

Some GOP players in Kentucky have encouraged Mr. Paul to drop his lagging presidential bid and focus on reelection to his Senate seat this November, as challengers begin to pile up.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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