Rand Paul scrounges for delegates in Alaska

A win for Rand Paul
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Story highlights

  • Paul's northwestern swing also includes stops in Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.
  • The early March timing of those states' elections could infuse Paul's campaign with the momentum he once hoped to carry out of New Hampshire

Washington (CNN)Rand Paul's stock has tumbled in Iowa and New Hampshire -- so he's reaching for delegates in western states.

That effort took the Kentucky senator to Alaska on Tuesday, as part of a swing that also includes Washington, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah.
It's a campaign tactic that follows the footsteps of Paul's father, former presidential candidate Rep. Ron Paul, who performed well in libertarian-leaning states that held caucuses, rather than primaries.
    The early March timing of those states' elections could infuse Paul's campaign with the momentum he once hoped to carry out of New Hampshire.
    "We're organizing everywhere and we're in it for the long haul," Paul told reporters on a conference call Tuesday while campaigning in Alaska.
    His trip northwest comes on the heels of a major victory at home, as Kentucky Republicans opted to hold caucuses, rather than a primary, to choose a Senate nominee -- a move that will allow Paul to appear on the ballot in the presidential race in his home state while hedging his bets and staying in line to keep his current job.
    "It's too early to tell what will happen and that will be a great problem to encounter once I get beyond the primary were I to be the nominee," Paul said.
    His drop down Republican presidential polls has happened across the early voting states -- he's at 5% in Iowa, 6% in New Hampshire and 6% nationally, according to the latest polls -- as Donald Trump has surged to the forefront of the GOP field.
    Paul admitted that Trump has something to do with his struggles, but said his poll numbers had started to drop before the real estate mogul stole the show, drawing Paul into one-on-one battles at times.
    And he predicted those numbers will rebound.
    "I think as people get to know what Donald Trump has really been for over the years, I think people are going to realize he is a fake conservative," Paul said.