Politics

Aug 14, 2011 8:49 PM by Dr. Anya Winslow

Once a fringe candidate, Paul shaping 2012 race

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Ron Paul is in position to shape the 2012 Republican presidential primary.

Once seen as a fringe candidate, the Texas congressman is giving voice to the party's libertarian wing and reflecting a frustration with the United States' international entanglements.

Paul placed second in a key early test vote Saturday, coming within 152 votes of winning the Iowa straw poll in Ames. He is boasting an organizational strength he lacked four years ago during his first shot at the GOP nomination.

Paul retooled his focus on social issues like abortion to set himself up as a serious player in Iowa, where evangelicals hold great sway.

He's also sticking with his message of liberty and limited government, hoping to attract tea partyers who have yet to rally behind a single candidate.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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