Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been engaged in discussions about potential options to avoid state law that prohibits an individual from running for the Senate and presidency at the same time, according to a new report.
As others were watching election night results come in, Paul and Steve Robertson, chairman of the state Republican Party, were engaged in a conversation about changing Kentucky’s presidential primary into a caucus system, which could possibly allow Paul to seek both offices simultaneously, Politico reports
"He’s got as many questions about it as I do," Robertson told Politico. "He’s just curious how it would work."
However, making the change to a caucus system might be as difficult as running for president itself. According to Politico, a majority of local Republican officials would have to sign off on the change and "would have to agree on the procedures and the costs of holding statewide caucuses" by October 2015.
Paul spokesman Dan Bayens told Politico that the senator remains "100 percent committed to running for re-election."
Paul would also have to overcome the overwhelming opposition of Kentucky voters to changing state law to permit dual campaigns.
According to an August poll conducted by SurveyUSA, two-thirds of respondents said they did not support
changing Kentucky law to allow Paul to run for president and for re-election to the Senate at the same time.
The Aug. 25-27 poll found 66 percent of those surveyed said no change should be made to the law, while just 27 percent backed a change. Among Republican respondents, a majority (54 percent) were opposed, compared to 36 percent who approved.
Stephen Voss, a professor of political science at the University of Kentucky, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that Paul risks the chance that trying to change the law might cause someone to challenge him for the Senate
"Paul's overall support in Kentucky is okay, but not terribly impressive, so I'd expect him to attract serious opposition in a Senate contest," Voss told the Herald-Leader. "That's another reason he probably should think twice about running for both the Senate and the presidency in 2016. The last thing a presidential candidate needs is a high-quality opponent keeping him on the defensive at home when he needs to focus on the big away game."
Another potential obstacle to any effort to alter Kentucky law is that Democrats retain control of the State House, The Washington Post
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