He may be the oldest candidate in the Republican race, but Ron Paul is the only one who has any street cred with the party’s youngest voters. As Paul’s popularity among America’s youth grows, his campaign has increasingly made young voters the cornerstone of his grassroots White House bid, deploying armies of starry-eyed college students to knock on doors and donate their beer money to help spread the Paul gospel.
These efforts are now paying off. Earlier today Paul nabbed the endorsement of The Daily Iowan, the student newspaper at the University of Iowa.
“Paul is a candidate who appeals to voters across the political spectrum. He has also been exceptionally consistent in his time in Congress. He doesn’t play political games — even with his opponents — and remains truthful to his word. This alone is a redeeming quality in a candidate in today’s political sphere.
Despite the mainstream media writing him off as being unable to win Iowa, he is now polling in second place and may even be the most popular candidate in Iowa, given the margin of error.”
While student endorsements are typically inconsequential to presidential elections, The Daily Iowan‘s reasons for endorsing Paul offer interesting insight into the mind of the young conservative. Notably, the paper’s editorial board voices support for Paul’s vision of limited government, as well as for his opposition to the war’s in Iraq and Afghanistan and to the War on Drugs.
The paper also briefly outlines its reasons for not supporting the other candidates. Mitt Romney, they write, would “disenfranchise” the GOP’s base, while Newt Gingrich would be “torn apart by Democrats” and Jon Huntsman has run a “weak campaign.”
Perhaps most interesting is the paper’s strong objection to Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann over their “unacceptable” positions on gay rights. Rick Santorum is apparently the worst of all: the paper writes that Santorum is a “staunch religious conservative who would impose a quasi-theocracy on the entire country.”
Paul, the paper notes, has an “admirable” position on gay marriage and supported overturning Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
The editorial once again points to the serious age gap that exists over gay rights issues. Assuming Paul does not win the GOP’s 2012 nomination, the party may soon be at risk of leaving an entire generation of voters behind.