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2016 Watch

Ted Cruz might be stealing Rand Paul's libertarian base

As Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) slumps, he's insisted he isn't dropping out of the 2016 presidential race. In addition to low poll and fundraising numbers, Paul should have another chief concern: one of his opponents, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).

Both candidates attended the Republican Liberty Caucus in New Hampshire on Friday, and Politico reports things didn't look too hot for Paul, who might be losing the libertarian base to his colleague:

Cruz, who enjoyed a standing ovation when he took the stage, deviated several times from his standard stump speech. He flaunted his philosophically libertarian credentials, name-dropping economists Ludwig von Mises and Friedrich Hayek, who are idolized in liberty circles. The Texas senator, who is generally hawkish on foreign policy, also stressed to the non-interventionist crowd that he doesn't support "nation-building," and noted that he opposed a proposal to intervene in Syria. [Politico]

Though Paul's speech was also well-received, some voters in attendance who had strongly supported Paul's father, Ron, in 2012, said they were more confident in Cruz than in the younger Paul.

"Cruz is stronger, he'd have more spunk as president," one told Politico.