Rand didn't just win the CPAC straw poll, he's winning the Google interest poll, too. Here are the search results for the rest of CPAC's top four, as well as for Jeb Bush, who the AP, swimming against the grassroots tide--in vain, one hopes--describes as "perhaps the highest-profile establishment figure [in the GOP]". Results track from December 2012 through the present (that is, they're post-election):
The filibuster was a publicity stunt. So what? It was in no way at odds with the positions he's maintained from the beginning of his political career, and it worked. It netted him more google traffic than Marco Rubio's insipid state of the union response. The guy's adroit media savviness and polished public presentation are attributes his father sorely lacked. This Paul has a legitimate shot.
Parenthetically, his murky positions on immigration worry a restrictionist like myself, but, unfortunately, whose in the GOP don't? Paul thinks the 14th amendment has been misread to grant birthright citizenship to the children of non-citizens and wants it challenged in the supreme court. If unsuccessful there, he wants to add an amendment explicitly denying birthright citizenship to the Constitution. There's hope for the man, and, just maybe, there's hope for this country, too.