The first debate having come and gone, Rand Paul is sinking in the polls and not generating a lot of donations to keep him going. Despite a natural base of his father's supporters, Rand doesn't seem to even be drawing the minimum level of support that Ron Paul had.
As a libertarian minded conservative, I am naturally drawn to a candidate like Rand. But the problem here is that I don't just have to choose whether or not to vote for Rand Paul as the GOP candidate for president- I have to decide if it is worth risking Rand as a libertarian leader in the US Senate to run against whomever is the Dem candidate for president.
Rand Paul, like his father before him, has been a staunch advocate of privacy and individual freedoms, and like his father before him, I nearly completely disagree with him on foreign policy. As a leader of the libertarian wing of the GOP in the Senate, Rand has been able to move the Overton Window to allow most Americans to see excessive executive orders as wrong, NSA spying as completely un-Constitutional, and the general loss of freedoms in America as a dangerous thing.
Rand doedn't just need to get me to vote for him as the presidential nominee, he needs to convince me to take him out of the US Senate and into the White House. So far, he hasn't made that case.