Occupation: U.S. Representative from Texas
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During the 2008 presidential election, this 74-year-old Texas libertarian became a surprising cult hit with the college crowd, raising millions of dollars online. But all that dough didn't help Paul at the polls: he didn't win a single state, and his support peaked with 25% of the vote in Montana. Then came the Tea Party movement, built around the libertarian-leaning ideas of small government, lower taxes and a fiery opposition to deficit spending. Suddenly, Paul is all the rage. In February he won the Conservative Political Action Conference's straw poll usually a good indicator of which candidate the Republican base favors for the next presidential nomination.
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