The 'Rand Paul will win over young voters' myth

The median of the eight surveys shows that among young voters, Paul trails by 17 percentage points more than he trails among all voters. That would represent a slight improvement over Romney, who lost young voters by 20 points more than he did voters overall. Still, Paul’s and Romney’s relative performances with young voters are within the margin of error of each other.

Moreover, the difference between Christie’s margin among young voters and his margin overall is the same as Paul’s: 17 points. The only difference is Christie is doing slightly better among all voters. That suggests the slight improvement over Romney’s performance with young voters — if it isn’t simply noise — isn’t unique to Paul.

One could argue that young voters might warm to Paul as they get to know him better; after all, 45 percent of Americans have no opinion of Paul. But it’s not entirely clear Paul’s numbers will drastically improve if young voters learn more about his positions. There are issues on which he is more aligned with young voters than other Republicans are, such as marijuana policy and perhaps the death penalty. But he’s not aligned with those young voters on several issues that Gallup recently found to be the most important: immigration, jobs and the economy, health care and foreign policy.