Paul has argued that the public is on his side and other surveys have been less clear-cut. A poll from Morning Consult found a plurality supported extending PATRIOT Act provisions, but with some modifications, which is ultimately what happened on Tuesday with passage of the Freedom Act.
The CNN poll, however, comes after striking polling on the Iraq War, another issue where Paul has cranked his contrast with Republican hawks up to 11 over the last few weeks.
After Bush stumbled through a question on whether the 2003 invasion was worth it in retrospect, Paul reiterated his fierce opposition to deposing Saddam Hussein and went on to blame fellow Republicans in harsh terms for encouraging the rise of ISIS by supporting military interventions against other Middle East dictators.
According to a poll from Quinnipiac, the American public shared Paul’s view that Iraq was a disaster by a wide margin – 59% said it was the wrong decision. But the Republicans he needs to win over in the primary were another story – a whopping 62% of GOP-leaning respondents still supported the Iraq War.