(U.S. News) -- Poor Rand Paul. The Kentucky senator's entrance into the 2016 presidential campaign was supposed to herald a new libertarian moment, a chance for the GOP to reorient itself toward issues that might have more resonance with younger voters. He would seize on the committed following of his father, former presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul, and turn it into something with a broader appeal, the theory went.
So much for that.
Paul on Wednesday suspended his campaign after pulling a paltry 4.5 percent in the Iowa caucuses, with his numbers hard to find without a microscope in New Hampshire and South Carolina. The fact that Democrats have found a top-tier challenger for Paul's Senate seat, which is also on the ballot this year, in Lexington Mayor Jim Gray surely played a part in his departure too. The national party has been leaning on him to focus more on his Senate race for some time, so now back to the Bluegrass State he goes.
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