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With the measurable rise in Rand Paul’s star power over the past six months, a fear has awakened within some Republican circles that the “noninterventionist foreign policy” message may be resonating with young voters for 2016. Many potential candidates will allude to Rand Paul, without mentioning his name, but connect the dots close enough.

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Report from Time:

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is hard at work laying the groundwork for an almost certain presidential campaign in 2016, but as he broadens his support among libertarian and younger voters, there’s a budding countercampaign to take him down if he becomes a threat to actually win the nomination.

“His edges aren’t as sharp as his father’s,” says Ari Fleischer, a former White House press secretary. “But there’s still a naiveté that’s going to be a problem. He represents a departure from something a lot of Republicans are used to.”

Several prominent GOP donors at the conference suggested that Adelson, who spent more than $100 million backing Newt Gingrich and Romney in 2012, is likely to spend vast sums against Paul if he appears to be well positioned in the Republican primaries. Adelson’s spending is largely motivated by his strong concern for Israel, and Paul’s positions may well put a target on his back.

I believe Rand Paul is aware of this push back which is why he’s taking his message to venues and audiences normally avoided by many GOP candidates. Paul is trying to build a coalition outside the establishment circles which he hopes will overwhelm whatever is thrown his way. This is a fascinating debate within the party which will go into high gear following the 2014 midterms.

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