Rand Paul looks for a 2016 opening in Iowa

“The Bush factor is there,” Schoenfeld said. “The folks involved may have more gray hair but they’re ready to go to war for him in Iowa. Same with the people with [New Jersey Gov.] Chris Christie. The battle for that wing of the party is going to be fierce.”

Among former Ron Paul backers, there are pockets of unease about whether Rand Paul is moving too far to the center. Drew Ivers, who chaired Ron Paul’s 2012 Iowa campaign, said he is “not sure” whether he will get behind the younger Paul in 2016.

“He is playing to the middle, rather than having the middle move toward him,” Ivers said. “I would like to see him do more to talk about small-government principles.”

Between stops, Paul shrugged off questions about his camp and its fundraising abilities.