But the poll of 1000 people nationwide suggests that Paul is still not a mainstream national figure. Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they have a favorable view of him, while 30% have an unfavorable view. Even after a well-covered and popular grassroots run for president in 2008, 32% of respondents said they were "unsure" about their opinion of him.
The Rasmussen poll was taken among registered voters nationwide. Not surprisingly, most were unable to form an opinion of Paul's role in the GOP. Just 21% called him a "divisive force" in the Republican Party, while 34% said he represents "a new direction" for the party. Forty-five percent said they weren't sure.
Should Paul decide to run for president again, the straw poll results suggest he still has the grassroots support to gain at least the level of traction he had in 2008. It's clear that some Republicans are still interested in him, especially with a current Republican field of 2012 candidates that has failed to produce a single breakout star. Still, there's essentially no chance Obama and Paul would ever meet in a general election, despite Paul's recent momentum.