Can Rand Paul win the GOP nomination?

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced today that he will seek the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

“The Kentucky senator, who announced his candidacy for the White House on Tuesday morning, doesn’t fit neatly into the molds of either party,” writes NPR’s Mara Liasson.

Socially liberal on issues of crime and punishment — especially when it comes to drug sentencing — against a federal ban on same-sex marriage, and no foreign policy hawk, he’s not your prototypical Republican.

As a fiscal conservative and an opponent of abortion rights, though, he’s certainly no Democrat either.

“It’s time for a new way, a new set of ideas and a new leader,” Paul says in a Web video, with a heavy metal soundtrack, previewing his presidential campaign.

Related: Rand Paul on the issues (New York Times)

Paul “won’t be America’s next president,” predicts The Week‘s Peter Weber.

That’s not because the 52-year-old freshman senator from Kentucky wouldn’t make a formidable candidate; it’s because he won’t get the chance. Republicans won’t nominate him as their 2016 standard-bearer — luckily for Democrats.

Today’s Question: Can Rand Paul win the GOP nomination?