Michael Steele, the former chairman of the Republican National Committee, tabbed Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulRand Paul says Fauci owes parents and students an apology over pandemic measures Grassley returns to Capitol after having coronavirus Congress set for chaotic year-end sprint MORE (R-Ky.) as the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

Paul, who recently said the Republican brand “sucks,” has made an effort to reach out to African-Americans and other traditionally Democratic voters in recent months to broaden the GOP’s appeal.

“He’s got the organization on the ground right now. He’s in all 50 states. He’s got young folks gravitating toward him. He’s got African-Americans taking a pause and looking at him,” Steele said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

ADVERTISEMENT

But Joe Scarborough, the former GOP congressman and MSNBC host, wasn’t on board with Steele’s prediction.

“Rand Paul is going to run a great race. He’s going to do better than his father. And he’s not going to win,” Scarborough said.

Former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) made several bids for the White House, and Scarborough said Republicans with more libertarian leanings – like the Pauls – have a tough time getting over the top in GOP primaries.

“Main Street Republicans win,” Scarborough said.