Ron Paul getting rock star treatment in Iowa

Ron Paul has been running a strong campaign in Iowa.

And, reports "Early Show" contributor Taryn Winter Brill, it seems as if, wherever he goes, he gets the "rock star" treatment, with chanting, supportive crowds and many young people among them.

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While the 76-year-old Texas congressman with libertarian views may be the oldest of the Republican presidential hopefuls, he seems to be attracting the youngest crowds and has been generating plenty of buzz among young voters.

Of course, he's happy with the rock star comparisons and says he's feeling really good about his chances in the Iowa caucuses.

Buoyed by strong poll numbers and growing crowds, Paul's been a bona fide hit on the stump in the Hawkeye State.

Some might say he's bet the farm on Iowa, spending $1.3 million on ads there. But it's his boots-on-the-ground organization that's been reaching the masses, particularly younger voters.

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One told CBS News, "Everything the man says is absolutely wonderful." And another said, "I feel like he has a fantastic plan to help the country out and to help my generation."

Photos: On campaign trail in Iowa

What is it he's saying that's resonating with younger voters? "Young ideas," Paul replied. "Freedom is a young idea."

He says a win in Iowa would do wonders for his national campaign, but Drake University political science Prof. Art Sanders isn't so sure.

"When you move outside of economics," Sanders points out, "Ron Paul believes drugs should be legalized, he believes that whether or not people get married should be a private decision, the state should stay out of it. ... Ron Paul has all kinds of positions that are never gonna be attractive to Republicans."

Still, what matters to Iowa caucus-goers is the economy -- a sentiment shared among voters nationwide.

"Given the nature of economy," says Sanders, "and especially the belief among Republicans that the problem is too much government spending, his long-term commitment to cutting that spending in drastic kind of ways makes him look attractive."

  • Taryn Brill

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